GOP 3rd district field narrows as Colyer endorses Jordan

The Republican field of contenders in the 3rd district U.S. House race became a little bit clearer Monday morning.

State Sen. Jeff Colyer, R-Overland Park, sent out an announcement that he won’t run, and he strongly endorsed former state Sen. Nick Jordan, a Shawnee Republican who lost a bid for the seat in 2008 to Rep. Dennis Moore, the Lenexa Democrat who will retire after this term.

“I am grateful for the support and encouragement of so many friends regarding this race. I love public service and enjoy campaigning, but now is not the right time for me to be a congressional candidate,” said Colyer, a surgeon serving his first term in the Kansas Senate. “However, the issues facing America are too important for any of us to sit on the sidelines.

“That’s why I’m proud to endorse Nick Jordan. Nick is experienced, honest and effective. He has the right background and values to succeed. Nick can unite this district and win for the right reasons. He will make an outstanding congressman.”

Observers had mentioned Colyer as a potential contender for the nomination in recent weeks. Several Republicans in the district that includes eastern Douglas, Wyandotte and Johnson counties expressed interest in the race after Moore said in November he would not run again. Moore had defeated Republicans for six consecutive terms.

Even though Colyer’s now out of the running, the GOP field still has plenty of contenders. Jordan jumped in the race and joined former state Rep. Patricia Lightner, of Olathe, and candidates Daniel Gilyeat, John Rysavy and Tom Scherer. State Rep. Kevin Yoder, House appropriations chairman of Overland Park, and Rep. Pat Colloton, a Leawood attorney, are also exploring bids.

Jordan has said he decided to run after seeing favorable polling numbers in the district. Now, Colyer, a potential rival for the bid has endorsed him and will become Jordan’s co-campaign chairman in Johnson County.

“Because Jeff is such a principled conservative leader, respected for both his intellect and character, he will be a great asset as we unite the common-sense majority of this district around our campaign,” Jodan said.

On the Democratic side, Kansas City, Kan., Mayor Joe Reardon is considering running, and Carol Marinovich, also a former Kansas City, Kan., mayor, has been mentioned as a candidate.