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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Letter from State Sen. Fitzgerald: Why I do not intend to run?

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  • To the editor:
    I recently announced my intention to run for the Second Congressional District in Kansas. That is no longer my intention.
Let me explain.
    As a veteran, past commander of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post, father of two serving Army officers, and friend and neighbor of many active and retired soldiers, I felt compelled to oppose in the strongest possible way the largest cut to military compensation ever. This cut was to the pensions of those who served and are serving, a clear breach of contract and trust, a betrayal.
    Compounding this dreadful concession to the Democrats was the Republican House Leadership strategy to compromise on amnesty for illegal aliens. The leadership plan was to stall the compromise until after filing dates had passed in many states so that Republican Congressmen could support amnesty without fear of an immediate primary challenge. I saw these issues as matters of integrity and loyalty and my intention was to correct them as effectively and expeditiously as possible.
    These are the reasons I announced my intention to run for Congress from the Second Congressional District. My belief was the Republican leadership in the House no longer represented their constituents and were foolishly conceding everything to the Democrats.
    But, things change.
    Large majorities of both parties in both houses voted to reverse the pension cuts and the president signed the bill last week. Frankly, this issue was a centerpiece of my campaign and it had been my intention to use it to support fundraising from veterans nationwide. This unexpected reversal not only removed an important plank from my platform, it has severely reduced my ability to raise campaign funds.
    Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins has also issued a statement that she does not support amnesty or a pathway to citizenship that will benefit those who came here illegally at the expense of those who followed the law. This is in clear opposition to the Speaker of the House. As the fifth ranking member of Republican Leadership in the House, this is significant.
    Even though the Congresswoman has a good voting record on illegal immigration, such public opposition, widely shared by other members of the caucus, makes unlikely any deal before the elections in November. This removes the other plank from my platform.
    Now what?
    Now it is important to focus on the positive and work for a Republican victory in November that will take the Senate, keep the House, and return to office our leadership team in Kansas. Gov. Sam Brownback, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer and the rest of the statewide office holders and our Republican House members have earned and deserve our support, and I look forward to working for another clean sweep in November.
    I am grateful for the encouragement, support, and patience of all involved.
    Page 2 of 2 - Steve Fitzgerald
    Kansas Senate Fifth District, Leavenworth
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