Washington — Rep. Dennis Moore may never remove the Republican cross-hairs from his back, but the Kansas Democrat appears to be out of range this election season.
In the past, the National Republican Congressional Committee has funneled resources into the heavily Republican 3rd Congressional District of Kansas, which includes an eastern portion of Douglas County and parts of Lawrence.
Without a strong challenger emerging this time, however, the Republican committee is focusing on other races as it tries to protect the GOP's thin majority in the House.
"This year will not be as much of a challenge for Moore as it has been in the past," said Joe Aistrup, chairman of the political science department at Kansas State University. "But he's still in a marginal district for Democrats, and money could swing the balance."
Four Republican candidates hoping to take on Moore have not had an easy time raising money ahead of Tuesday's primary contest, according to recent fundraising reports. Chuck Ahner, a loan company executive from Overland Park, has about $157,000 in the bank, but nearly all of that comes from a $150,000 loan. State Rep. Scott Schwab, R-Olathe, has just less than $16,000 cash on hand.
The other candidates in the 3rd District primary - disability rights activist Thomas Scherer and retired construction worker Paul Showen - had no current fundraising reports on file with the Federal Election Commission.
Moore, who is uncontested in the primary, has taken a firm lead in the money race with about $540,000 cash on hand, according to his latest campaign finance report.
Moore first won the seat in 1998 by appealing to moderate Republicans and independent voters. After a string of narrow victories over GOP challengers, he was re-elected in 2004 by 11 percentage points over conservative Republican Kris Kobach.
In the state's only other contested primary, four Democrats are vying to take on Republican Rep. Todd Tiahrt in the 4th Congressional District, which includes the Wichita area: Garth McGinn, a systems analyst from Bel Air; Ron Voth, a lab medical technologist from Halstead; Marty Mork, a disabled former warehouse worker from Wichita; and Patrick Quaney, a retired engineer from Wichita.
McGinn reports having about $2,300 in the bank, while Voth has about $1,100 cash on hand. Tiahrt has more than $1 million in the bank, according to his latest FEC report.
In the 1st Congressional District, Republican Rep. Jerry Moran, of Hays, is uncontested in the primary. The only Democrat running in the primary is John Doll, a business owner from Garden City.
In the 2nd Congressional District, incumbent Republican Jim Ryun, of Lawrence, faces a general election rematch against Topeka Democrat Nancy Boyda. Neither faces a primary challenger.
Contested primary races
U.S. House of Representatives, District 3 (East Lawrence)
- Chuck Ahner
- Thomas Scherer
- Scott Schwab
- Paul V. Showen
- Jim Barnett/Susan Wagle
- Ken Canfield/Kathe Decker
- Rex Crowell/Brian D. Shepherd
- Dennis Hawver/Bret D. Landrith
- Robin Jennison/Dennis Wilson
- Timothy Pickell/Jeffrey A. McCalmon
- Richard Rodewald/Helen D. Kanzig
Secretary of State
- Kay O'Connor
- Ron Thornburgh
- Commissioner of Insurance
- Eric Carter
- Sandy Praeger
Secretary of State
- Robert Beattie
- David Haley
State Board of Education District 1 (East Douglas County)
- Jesse L. Hall
- Janet Waugh