Topeka A Topeka pastor and community leader announced Tuesday that he is running for the 2nd Congressional District, which is currently represented by U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, a Republican from Topeka.
Tobias Schlingensiepen, a Democrat, has been pastor of Topeka’s First Congregational Church for the past six years and a police chaplain for 12 years.
Schlingensiepen said he is running because people “want a representative who believes it is more important to get people back to work, make sure our economy rewards innovation and a strong work ethic, and addresses our nation’s ever-expanding deficit than scoring short-term political points.”
Schlingensiepen has four children and lives in Topeka with his wife, Abigail.
Jenkins will be seeking re-election to a third term in the House.
The district currently includes western Douglas County, but new district lines are expected to be drawn in the coming weeks by a federal judicial panel.
Earlier this year, Schlingensiepen helped gather signatures on a petition calling for House Speaker Mike O’Neal, R-Hutchinson, to resign for forwarding an email that referred to President Barack Obama and a Bible verse that says, “Let his days be few and brief.” O’Neal apologized over the email.
Schlingensiepen also criticized Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican, for proposing a tax plan that eliminated provisions aimed at helping the working poor, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit. Brownback later abandoned that proposal.