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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Kent Bush: Tiahrt vs. Pompeo: let the games begin

  • It’s too bad that two good guys will spend the next few months beating each other up
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  • You know that guy I endorsed twice for Congress? He is terrible. You should elect me instead.
    The current political environment has made for some strange bedfellows. Now, in Kansas’ Fourth Congressional District it has made two allies into enemies.
    Former Congressman Todd Tiahrt of Goddard announced Thursday that he was going to try to unseat the man he endorsed for his office when he unsuccessfully ran against Jerry Moran for Senate in 2010.
    “I’m not happy with what’s going on in Congress,” Tiahrt said, “and I’m very unhappy with what’s happening in 4th District.”
    That is strange because when Tiahrt ran against Moran, he endorsed Pompeo out of a group of Republicans who hoped to take Tiahrt’s place. In 2012, Tiahrt doubled down on Pompeo as the best candidate for the job.
    In 2014, Tiahrt decided to endorse himself.
    When he ran against Moran in 2010, Tiahrt lost to another conservative. It was a stylistic difference that cost him. It is no secret that Tiahrt has conservative street cred. His religious beliefs guide his policy decisions. He was a member of the TEA Party before it had a name. He was endorsed by no less than Sarah Palin in 2010 but not even that was enough to win him the Senate seat.
    Strangely enough, Tiahrt attacked Pompeo for “jetting around.” I don’t know how that accusation will play considering Pompeo spends every weekend in the fourth district and makes appearances at schools across his district each week.
    I have to wonder if the best jetting charge Tiahrt could have mounted was the success Boeing enjoyed in Wichita while he was in Congress compared to shutting down its local operations in the past few years.
    Tiahrt will likely be the candidate of choice for Koch Industries and Americans for Prosperity and other dark money groups from the right side of the political spectrum.
    But Pompeo is a friend of Club for Growth and already has $2.1 million in his campaign’s war chest.
    If you live in the Fourth District and don’t like political ads, you are going to be miserable for the next 10 weeks.
    Pompeo is also tap dancing in a minefield now that he was picked to be on the select committee to investigate the attacks on the Benghazi Embassy. Trying to be sound conservative enough to make Fourth District voters happy while not sounding like a FOX News pundit will be a hard fence to straddle in the middle of a difficult primary with a Republican running to his right and a Democrat waiting for the winner.
    The two campaigns have already fired the first shots across each others bows and if the candidates are willing to take shots at each other, you know the issue PACs will be chomping at the bit to assassinate each candidate’s character.
    Page 2 of 2 - It’s too bad that two truly good guys will spend the next few months beating each other up. In a compressed campaign, both sides will come out swinging quickly.
    Politically active voters in the Fourth District are like middle schoolers on a playground circling the two kids getting ready to fight.
    This could be quite a show.
    Bush is the publisher of the Butler County Times Gazette and can be reached at: kbush@butlercountytimesgazette.com

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