Kansas Rep. Watkins pays outstanding amount on Alaska condo after foreclosure lawsuit

photo by: Associated Press

Congressional candidate Steve Watkins speaks at an election night rally in Topeka, Kan., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

Story updated at 3:49 p.m. Friday

TOPEKA — Republican Kansas Rep. Steve Watkins paid a homeowners association in Alaska that was seeking to foreclose on his condominium, an email sent by the property manager shows.

The email shows that Watkins called the property manager to resolve the matter on Thursday, the same day that The Associated Press inquired with his office about an Oct. 22 lawsuit filed by the Loch Ness Manor Condominium Association. The lawsuit sought foreclosure of his condominium in Eagle River, outside Alaska. The lawsuit sought delinquent payments totaling $1,535 as of Oct. 1.

Watkins did not respond Thursday when contacted by the AP. The next day, his office forwarded the AP an email that the property manager had sent him Friday. The email said his account is now in good standing and “that you have taken the necessary steps to get things resolved.”

County records show the condo is assessed at $166,500. The financial disclosure report Watkins filed in May indicates he received between $5,000 and $15,000 in rental income from it in 2018.

His report shows Watkins owns two rental homes in Alaska, and that he claimed a liability of more than $50,000 to the Alaska Homeowners Association due to an earthquake.

Watkins, a former Army officer and military contractor, won by less than a percentage point last year in a district that President Donald Trump easily carried in 2016.

Some Republicans worry that Watkins is vulnerable to Democratic defeat in 2020, prompting GOP state Treasurer Jake LaTurner to abandon a campaign for an open Senate seat in September to challenge Watkins. LaTurner entered the race after former GOP Gov. Jeff Colyer publicly called on him to run. Both LaTurner and Colyer have cited the difference between Trump’s showing and Watkins’ result two years later.

The only Democrat running so far is Abbie Hodgson, a 37-year-old former speechwriter for Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who later worked for the Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington.

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