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Topeka The Kansas Democratic Party on Tuesday said Republican 2nd Congressional District candidate Lynn Jenkins' "outsider" image has been undermined by the National Republican Congressional Committee, which will spend $580,000 in television ads to help her try to defeat U.S. Rep. Nancy Boyda, the Democratic incumbent.
"Lynn Jenkins founded her campaign on the fantasy that she is an 'outsider' who can change Washington," said Mike Gaughan, executive director of the state Democratic Party. "Yet she has made no effort to reject the half a million dollars these Washington insiders handed over to her campaign."
Josh Hersh, a spokesman for Jenkins, however, said the NRCC assist wouldn't change Jenkins' message of independence.
"Throughout the primary, Lynn was consistent that Republican leadership had failed to lead, especially on spending and the national debt," Hersh said. He added that Boyda's independence should be questioned because of funds she has received from special interest political action committees.
Jenkins and Boyda face off in the Nov. 4 general election for the district that includes western Lawrence, Topeka, Manhattan and much of southeastern Kansas.
Last month, Boyda publicly denounced an effort by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which had said it would spend $1.2 million in ads to help her.
Boyda asked the DNCCC to "get the heck out of my race," and when it complied, she said, "This is terrific news for anyone who believes that Kansas voters should control Kansas campaigns."
She urged Jenkins to follow her lead, but Jenkins declined.
On Tuesday, Hersh said that Boyda has taken a large amount of campaign funds from PACs.
As of July 30, Boyda had raised $1.24 million, with roughly 67 percent coming from individual contributions and 32 percent from PACs, according to figures compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, which are available at www.opensecrets.org. Jenkins reported raising $760,000 with roughly 79 percent coming from individual contributions, 13 percent from her own pocket and 6 percent from PACs.
Boyda's campaign, however, has said she is independent and that in a recent ranking by the National Journal, Boyda's voting record was in the center of the House between conservatives and liberals. The Journal analyzed 107 key votes in the House in 2007.