Some carried signs. Some carried flags, babies or even a toy poodle wearing campaign regalia.
But the 1,000 or so people who came Sunday afternoon to the Statehouse steps in Topeka were united in carrying one message.
"Nothing will change until we change Congress," Democrat Nancy Boyda said, encouraging the cheering crowd to say it with her.
Boyda, who pollsters claim has a good chance of unseating the Republican incumbent, U.S. Rep. Jim Ryun, in Tuesday's election, said before the rally her own polls show she is 9 percentage points ahead in the Kansas 2nd Congressional District race.
And the public's dissatisfaction with the status quo is what brought President Bush in to campaign for Ryun at the 11th hour, she said.
Bush spoke for Ryun later in the day at the Topeka Expocentre.
"Jim Ryun didn't bring George Bush to Kansas. You brought George Bush to Kansas," Boyda said, her voice booming out to the gathering, which included veterans, striking Goodyear employees and teachers.
Several Lawrence residents were at the rally, including Ed Scheurich.
"My only New Year's resolution was to get rid of Ryun," Scheurich said.
Another Lawrence resident, Robin Gingerich, said the rally for Boyda went beyond partisan politics.
"I think Nancy Boyda's slogan, 'Had enough?' is exactly right," Gingerich said. "We need to change the balance of power."
Tom Mersmann, another Lawrence resident, agreed.
Democrat Nancy Boyda, who's running for the Kansas 2nd District congressional seat, speaks at rally on Statehouse steps.
"We need to restore the balance in Washington so one ideology doesn't have a totally free hand," he said.
One of the speakers during the 90-minute gathering was Kent Hayes, a Lawrence author and children's advocate. He said Boyda impressed him with her honesty at a Douglas County Democratic Party meeting.
"She said she wasn't sure she was gonna win," Hayes said. However, Hayes said Boyda has worked hard to pull so close.
"Every 50 years or so, there comes along a person that goes beyond being politic and goes beyond being a politician and they become a statesperson," Hayes said. "And I think Nancy Boyda has that capacity."
More about the race
- Bush revs up GOP crowd (11-06-06)
- Protests in, around Expocentre bring one arrest (11-06-06)
- Campaigns at fever pitch in final days before election (11-05-06)
- About half of voters expected to turn out (11-04-06)
- Republican officials plan bus campaign tour (11-02-06)
- Ryun concedes race is tight (10-31-06)
- More about the race for U.S. House, 2nd District
- More in Election 2006