Congressman Watkins losing July campaign cash race to main GOP foe

photo by: AP File Photos

Rep. Steve Watkins, left, and Kansas State Treasurer Jake LaTurner, right, will face off for Kansas’ 2nd Congressional District seat in the Aug. 4, 2020, primary.

TOPEKA — Freshman Rep. Steve Watkins had less campaign cash than his main Republican rival as the GOP primary race entered its final 20 days, online finance records show.

State Treasurer Jake LaTurner had about $379,000 in campaign cash on July 15, compared to Watkins’ $256,000.

The race has been shadowed by felony charges filed against Watkins in Shawnee County District Court. He is accused of voting illegally in a City Council race in November 2019 and attempting to mislead a sheriff’s detective investigating whether he broke state election laws by listing a postal box at a UPS Inc. store as his residence. Watkins has called the charges “bogus.”

LaTurner raised nearly $173,000 in contributions from April 1 through Wednesday, including more than $10,000 after July 15. The charges against Watkins were filed July 14.

Watkins received $141,000 in contributions after April 1, including $1,050 on Tuesday.

But Watkins has raised more than $1 million total for his re-election campaign, bolstered by dollars from PACs and joint congressional fundraising committees. LaTurner has raised a total of $786,000.

Presumed Democratic nominee and Topeka Mayor Michelle De La Isla has raised more than $701,000, including more than $128,000 since April 1. She had $516,000 in cash on July 15.


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