In-depth coverage of the candidates and the issues, all leading up to the Aug. 5 primary and the Nov. 4 general election.
Topeka — It's Republican Lynn Jenkins challenging Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Nancy Boyda in what may unfold as one of the most competitive congressional races in the country.
Boyda, a freshman from Topeka, seeks re-election in a district that four years ago supported President Bush by 59 percent of the vote. The district includes west Lawrence, Topeka, Manhattan and much of southeast Kansas.
Jenkins, the state treasurer, survived a nail-biter of a GOP primary against Jim Ryun, the man who held the District 2 seat for 10 years before he was defeated by Boyda in 2006.
Boyda will kick off her re-election campaign Thursday with rallies in Pittsburg and Topeka.
Meanwhile, Jenkins on Thursday will appear at a Republican unity event with Ryun and other top state GOP officials.
Both parties wasted no time jumping into the fight.
Mike Gaughan, executive director of the Kansas Democratic Party, said Jenkins represented the failed policies of President Bush on illegal immigration and the economy.
He said that Jenkins has said in candidate forums that she didn't think businesses should be held accountable for hiring illegal immigrants.
"Bush's failed economic plan has left Kansans with $4 gas, the threat of home foreclosure and unaffordable health care, and Lynn Jenkins' only plan is to make the Bush tax cuts for the super rich permanent? That's not new or different - it's just more of the same," said Gaughan.
Jenkins said Gaughan misrepresented her positions.
She said businesses must be part of the solution in stemming illegal immigration.
"We need to give businesses the tools that they need to be the second line of defense," she said. She said she supported making all the Bush tax cuts permanent.
Meanwhile, the National Republican Congressional Committee issued a news release praising Jenkins as a "fiscal conservative who will fight wasteful spending and supports increased domestic production of energy."
The NRCC again chided Boyda for leaving a congressional meeting in July 2007 for a few minutes when a retired army general was reporting about progress in Iraq. Boyda said she left the meeting momentarily to compose herself because she believed the general had given an inaccurately upbeat portrayal of circumstances at that time.
In unofficial returns, Jenkins defeated Ryun 51 percent to 49 percent. Ryun conceded defeat early Wednesday, but then Shawnee County officials discovered an error that left more than 4,400 votes uncounted.
A review of the results with the additional votes, however, provided no change in the election's outcome.
In another development, Boyda announced that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, responding to a public request from her, canceled $1.2 million in reserved airtime for TV campaign commercials.
"This is terrific news for anyone who believes that Kansas voters should control Kansas campaigns," Boyda said. "By canceling their ads, the DCCC has given Kansas the chance to run our election without Washington interference."