Archive for Monday, April 2, 2007

Ryun preparing to run again

April 2, 2007


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Jim Ryun is in the race again, and this time the former miler is running a marathon.

The Lawrence Republican who was turned out of office in November seeks to win back the 2nd Congressional District seat, a full 16 months before the August 2008 primaries, and 19 months before the November 2008 general election.

His early entry and campaign fundraising is meant, in part, to ward off possible GOP challengers.

Ryun said he has been working hard to raise funds, and when a finance report is made public April 15 "it's going to turn some heads."

Ryun declined to say how much he has banked, but a hefty political war chest could make some potential Republican candidates think twice about facing him in a primary.

But some say Ryun can't escape competition within his own party.

"Jim is going to have some challenges because he has the baggage of having lost one," said state Sen. Derek Schmidt, R-Independence, who is considering running for the congressional position.

Democratic wave

In November, Ryun, a five-term incumbent congressman, was stunned by Democrat Nancy Boyda of Topeka.

Boyda's victory was one of the most unexpected in the national Democratic wave that brought the party back in control of Congress.

Ryun had defeated Boyda in 2004 by 15 percentage points. During the 2006 campaign, President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney stumped in Topeka to shore up his support.

But Boyda prevailed, and the national and Kansas Republican Party have put a big target on her, issuing blistering news releases after nearly every vote she makes.

"The big question in the 2nd District is not Nancy Boyda; it's does the Republican Party want to give Jim Ryun an uncontested primary," said Bob Beatty, a political science professor at Washburn University.

"There are probably some in the Republican Party who believe a new face might have a different angle that could be successful against Boyda," he said. "If Jim Ryun opposes her, she looks in the camera and TV ads and says 'Here's what I said I was going to do and I did it, and we don't need to go back.'"

Possible candidates

But after 10 years in Congress, Ryun should have an advantage over other Republicans in attracting campaign funds.

Also, Ryun has a built-in name identification advantage from both his political life and earlier athletic achievements as a world-record track star.

But possible Republican candidates say they will make their decision on whether to run regardless of Ryun's plans.

"I will continue to look at the race over the next month or so to gauge support," said state Rep. Lee Tafanelli, R-Ozawkie.

"If we feel we're the right candidate, we'll do that," he said.

Tafanelli said a contested primary "is a healthy thing. It's a way for candidates to get their views out and allow the people to hear those views."

State Treasurer Lynn Jenkins of Topeka also said she is seriously considering seeking the congressional seat.

"However, with the lawmakers still in town, she remains focused on her work as state treasurer," said her spokeswoman Jenalea Linn.

Schmidt said the 2nd District, which includes west Lawrence, Topeka, Manhattan and much of southeastern Kansas, should be in the Republican column.

"What we have to do is nominate a strong candidate. There is the concern among some Republicans that when they (voters) said no, they really meant it," he said, referring to Ryun's defeat.

Ryun confident

But Ryun said he is confident that he can regain the congressional seat.

"I'm the first one to admit I ran a lackluster race," Ryun said of the 2006 campaign.

Ryun was a stalwart supporter of Bush's policies in the Iraq war. He now says about the war, "peoples' patience, as well as mine, is starting to wear thin."

But Ryun said he opposed the recent U.S. House vote on the war that included a mandatory withdrawal of nearly all combat troops by Sept. 1, 2008.

"I want to see if the surge is going to make a difference, and make an observation at that time," he said of Bush's plan to send nearly 30,000 more troops to Iraq.

But Boyda said the House vote, which included troop withdrawal guidelines, was necessary. "After four long years of war in Iraq, the American military is stretched dangerously thin, and our strategic readiness is hazardously low.

"The Iraq Accountability Act sets the stage for a gradual, responsible redeployment from Iraq that will allow America to begin rebuilding our armed forces," she said.

As far as facing Ryun a third time, Boyda's spokesman Thomas Seay said, "Honestly, 2008 is still a long way away. Our office is focused on serving our constituents, not on politics."


SimiensRainbow 11 years ago

Poor Jim Ryun doesn't seem to realize that it was the perfect combination of being in one of the most Republican of states during the peak of the Republican Party's popularity that enabled him to be a five-term congressman in the first place.

He has no legislative accomplishments to speak of, his two issues of demonizing immigrants and pushing (right-wing Christian) family values don't resonate with a majority of the voters and he's a crappy campaigner. If the R's nominate him again they'll get exactly what they deserve.

Richard Heckler 11 years ago

Jim Ryun the man who claims to despise big government wants back on the big government payroll not that he ever came off the big government payroll retirement plan. Special interest money is root of all evil in government and this man cannot get enough thus taking our government further away from the voters. What about Abramoff Mr. Ryun?

dizzy_from_your_spin 11 years ago

Nancy Boyda--Nancy Pelosi of the midwest--has to go.

Recycling Jim Ryan is not the answer.

JohnBrown 11 years ago

It wasn't that he ran a "lacklustre campaign" that caused him to lose, it was his lacklustre performance in office.

We need smart people, not ideologues. We need a leader, not a follower. Jim is neither a leader nor smart.

Just look at the poor state of our military preparedness, then ask him how he helped fight the Bush administration from accomplishing that.

Ken Miller 11 years ago

Two points:

  1. Despite my being on the opposite side of an issue, Congresswoman Boyda spent more than an hour with me in DC discussing things. Not her staff. Congresswoman Boyda. I seriously doubt I would have gotten the same service from Ryun.

  2. The Kansas GOP could shoot itself in the foot if it allows Ryun and a credible Republican like Lynn Jenkins to bludgeon each other in a primary. Any neophyte follower of politics can see the Boyda camp would love that.

50YearResident 11 years ago

Ryun just doesn't "get it", he is washed up. Oh well, he can take his campaign donations and have a nice retirement.

Ryan, you were voted out for a reason, get over it.

Scott Tichenor 11 years ago

Some politicians and athletes ease into retirement gracefully. Others are dragged kicking and screaming from the platform. Ryun is the latter. He doesn't seem to get the fact that in order for him to lose by such a huge margin, his own party had to turn against him, and willingly they did. Even the "Decider" couldn't pull any votes for him.

Why is this so hard for him to understand?

Orwell 11 years ago

Jim Ryun just runs.

Nancy Boyda stops to listen.

KUDB99 11 years ago

Here, here Machiavelli.....They have driven me from my party as well. While I can't bring myself to register as Democrat, I am no longer a registered Republican, and am squarely in the Independent block.

The best thing that could happen to the Democrats would be for Jim Ryun to run. He would likely have enough of the religious rite's votes to win a primary campaign, but there is no way he garners enough of the Indy vote to win the General. I'm sure that Kobach's short sightedness is just setting up the 2nd district to remain in the Dem's hands.

mick 11 years ago

The national GOP has targeted this race for 2008 and will pour millions of dollars and open up their bag of dirty tricks into this race. It's going to take a strong grassroots effort, but I think that Kansans would rather have a real woman represent them than a womanized man.

prioress 11 years ago

Jim: Get a job, a real job. Go away.

dagopman 11 years ago

Nancy Boyda is a joke. She ran on a platform of strong constituent services. But her constituent service office is inept.

dagopman 11 years ago

Does Boyda have a constituent services office other than the one in Topeka? I sent a friend to that office that was having trouble with a federal student loan issue. My friend still hasn't received even the courtesy of a reply call. Is there an office in Lawrence I can send her to?

Farmboy 11 years ago

Wonder who is making the mortgage payments on Jim's Washington and Lawrence homes? That's a million dollars worth of real estate.

drake 11 years ago

I too have tried to contact this woman. My emails to her have gone unanswered for around 3 weeks now.

I guess if you don't agree with her left leanings your opinion does not count.

Look at her voting record since taking office- 98% w/ Nancy Pelosi.

Enough said....

KsTwister 11 years ago

Jim needs to be a lobbyist for the pharmaceutical companies like the rest of the Republicans are now who are out of office since last election. 14 of them to be exact.

preebo 11 years ago


You are absolutely right, however, I don't think that is enought said. As Ryun voted along with the Bush Administration 95% of the time and look where that got him.

jasonc_22 11 years ago

i've had excellent response from her office...or, at least, no worse than brownback or roberts

purplesage 11 years ago

If Rep. Boyda is all about constituent services, why is it that the two letters I have sent in her few months of offices have received no response? At least Ryun's office wrote back to the constituents.

Nancy Boyda said she was going to be a strong independent voice in Washington. We all knew she'd have to play with the liberal Democrats. In fact, it appears she is one.

By the way, Sebelius's office doesn't respond any better than Boyda's. Is there a trend?

dagopman 11 years ago

Funny, I had a representative in the Governor's office tell me the reason I hadn't received a response yet from Boyda was because she was still getting her feet wet. Come on Nancy, get your entire foot in the water!

dagopman 11 years ago

My friend has tried calling the Boyda office in Topeka. No response yet and waiting. 3 weeks now. The DC office referred her back to the Topeka office. Does Boyda have any other office my friend can try?

yourworstnightmare 11 years ago

I hope Ryun does run again. It would ensure Boyda another victory.

Run Jim run.

yankeelady 11 years ago

The only time we ever heard from Ryan was mass mailings. We had more response from Dennis Moore, and we are in the 2nd district. Nancy is doing ok. Better than Ryun ever did. Which wouldn't be difficult.

Centrist 11 years ago

To those of you who have not received responses to letters ...

Have you asked if they arrived at the destination? The P*ssed Office isn't perfect, y'know.

Also - try a delivery receipt from the P*ssed Office. That helps!

Then, when you get no response, you take your delivery receipt to the ljworld, or other newspaper and watch how fast they contact you.

dagopman 11 years ago

Centrist...good suggestion. I contacted my friend and she was wise enough to do delivery confirmation. Her information was received March 9th. She has followed up with the Topeka and Washington offices. The Washington office said they didn't deal with constituent problems and the Topeka office said they didn't have much experience with federal student loans and she'd be better off contacting Roberts or Brownback. My friend is a Democrat and was really disappointed in that response.

Centrist 11 years ago

rt ... you sound just like O'Reilly.

An original thought would sure be nice.

How do you know the posters here are Lefties at all?

Maybe they're just people who happen to be more pro-Dem or Ind at the moment, because they don't agree with the GOP. Or worse, heaven forbid, they don't toe the Right line ..

The difference between the Left & Right?

The Left adds information to exaggerate issues.

The Right twists information to scare or brainwash people into submission.

They both suck - big time.

dagopman 11 years ago

Listen, I'm just trying to help a friend in need. I don't have an agenda. My friend just doesn't seem to be getting anywhere with the Boyda offices. No phone calls, e-mails, letters, etc. She know her mail has been received because of her delivery confirmation notice by the USPS. She is treated rudely when she does reach a "live" voice. Boyda touted herself as the "constituent services queen" but it isn't shaping up that way.

blackwalnut 11 years ago

Nancy Boyda is one of 20 races on Karl Rove's 2008 hit list.

Patrick Wilbur 11 years ago

dagopman - I assume your friend is a resident of the 2nd district? If she is she should have a response by now.

shadower - the approach is (or at least should be) irrelevant. Boyda works for the constituents of the 2nd district.

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