Washington As the race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton played out over the final days of their historic contest, Kansas Rep. Nancy Boyda stayed uncommitted like many of her Democratic colleagues in Congress.
But even after Obama clinched the nomination Tuesday night - and dozens of other undecided superdelegates flocked to the Illinois senator - Boyda vowed to stay on the sidelines and suggested she might even skip this summer's Democratic National Convention in Denver.
It's part of Boyda's ongoing plan to distance herself from the national party and maintain independence in her conservative-leaning district.
Boyda, a freshman, is girding for a tough re-election challenge this fall. She'll face the winner of the Republican primary, either state treasurer Lynn Jenkins or former Rep. Jim Ryun, who she narrowly defeated in 2006.
"I've created distance from day one," Boyda said Wednesday. "I'm a Democrat, I'm proud to be a Kansas Democrat, but ultimately I've been shown to be very independent. Some people like that and others aren't crazy about it."
Boyda is one of fewer than 40 Democrats in Congress who have not yet endorsed Obama or Hillary Clinton in the nomination contest and is the only superdelegate from Kansas who has not backed a candidate. Seven of the state's nine superdelegates - including the governor and the state party chairman - have gone for Obama, while just one is endorsing Clinton.
The state's only other Democratic House member, Rep. Dennis Moore, of Lenexa, endorsed Obama on Tuesday. Moore also has been a perennial target and tries to keep an independent image, though he says he will attend the convention.
Last year, Boyda declined offers of campaign advice, strategy and fundraising support from national Democratic Party officials, despite being targeted by the GOP as one of the most vulnerable House members.