Statehouse Live: Kelly announces 2nd congressional district candidacy

? U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka, will face a serious challenge in the 2010 election.

State Sen. Laura Kelly, D-Topeka, announced Friday that she will seek to represent the 2nd congressional district, which includes west Lawrence.

“In the last few months, people from all across the district have been urging me to run for Congress,” Kelly said in a prepared statement.

“They are tired of leaders tied to a do-or-die narrow partisan agenda that has failed our country for the last eight years. Saying no is not enough in these challenging times. People deserve common sense answers and real solutions,” she said.

Another Democrat, state Sen. Tom Holland of Baldwin City, had considered running.

But Holland said Friday that he will not run, and will support Kelly.

Kelly is in her second term in the state Senate, having defeated a Republican incumbent in a majority Republican district and then securing 57 percent of the vote in her re-election bid in 2008. A member of a small Democratic minority in the state Senate, Kelly said she has reached to Republicans to reduce business taxes, expand health clinics, reduce class size and increase accountability in schools.

“We need the same kind of independent common sense in our leaders in Congress,” she said.