Lawrence attorney Margie Wakefield, a Democrat, announced today that she is considering a challenge to U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka, in the 2014 election.
Wakefield said people are disillusioned with Congress and that Jenkins' vote last week on the farm bill was a vote against Kansas values and in favor of Washington politics.
House Republicans approved a farm bill after stripping out the food stamp program used by 48 million Americans.
Wakefield said the connection of farm subsidies with the food stamp program was a key alliance formed 40 years ago by former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, R-Kan. and Democratic U.S. Sen. George McGovern of South Dakota.
"The Farm Bill was one of Senator Dole's greatest accomplishments, a legacy of bi-partisan cooperation," said Wakefield. "I'm outraged that Lynn Jenkins once again put partisan politics before the best interests of Kansas families."
Jenkins said she voted for the farm bill without the food stamp program because current agricultural policy is inefficient and outdated.
"The House bill eliminates direct payments, improves crop insurance, and saves taxpayers nearly $20 billion," Jenkins said. "This is progress, and will allow us to come together with the Senate and create a better system than we currently have today. Doing nothing, yet again, would have been irresponsible and put our food security at risk,” she said.
Wakefield, a family law attorney, has lived in Lawrence for more than 30 years. She is currently chair of the Douglas County Democratic Party and 2nd Congressional District Caucus.
The 2nd Congressional District includes all of Lawrence and Douglas County, and most of eastern Kansas, stretching from the state's borders with Nebraska and Oklahoma.
Wakefield said that over the next few months she will travel extensively through the 2nd district to listen to Kansans about their concerns.