Topeka — Former Congressman Jim Ryun says his positions haven't changed, and that's just fine with the voters of the 2nd congressional district.
But State Treasurer Lynn Jenkins says voters want new leadership to represent the district that includes western Lawrence and Douglas County.
That sums up the different themes from the two Republicans who filed Monday to face off in the primary on Aug. 5.
Ryun was a five-term congressman when Democrat Nancy Boyda defeated him in 2006 by a 51 percent to 47 percent margin. Boyda, of Topeka, is seeking re-election. The general election is Nov. 4.
While Boyda faces no primary challenger so far, the GOP contest promises to be one of the hottest in the state.
Ryun, of Lawrence, said he supports making permanent President Bush tax cuts of 2003, the construction of a fence on the U.S.-Mexico border, and increasing oil exploration, including drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
He attributed his 2006 loss not to his political positions, but to the fact that Democrats at the top of the ticket -- in the governor's race and attorney general's race -- won by large margins.
"This is a different lineup this time," he said.
He said he will be helped, should he win the primary and make it to the general election, because more Republicans will show up at the polls during a presidential election, and U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., is on the ballot.
But Jenkins, a former state legislator from Topeka who is in her second term as state treasurer, said Republicans, such as Ryun, blew their opportunity as the majority party in Congress, and that Democrats are not doing any better after having taken control in 2006.
"I think that Washington, D.C., Republicans failed us, and I think Washington, D.C., Democrats are failing us right now. We need new Republican leaders to go to Washington to start addressing the major issues of the day," she said.
She said reducing the national debt, addressing gasoline prices, immigration reform and eliminating pork barrel projects were among her priorities.