As he seeks election to another term in the U.S. House of Representatives, Republican Steve Watkins says he is a strong supporter of President Donald Trump.
And the first-term congressman from Topeka says he and Trump both remain outsiders.
“Trump is a perpetual outsider, and so are we,” Watkins said. “He and I are both freshmen.”
Watkins represents the 2nd Congressional District of Kansas. The district encompasses much of eastern Kansas including all of Leavenworth County.
He visited Leavenworth on Monday to attend a Leavenworth County Republican Women luncheon.
Watkins said he is focused on helping the country to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, both the virus and the economic impacts.
Watkins said he also wants to work on police reform and U.S. relations with China. In a second term, he also wants to work on health care issues including prescription drugs pricing as well as infrastructure and completing the border wall.
Before his name can appear on the ballot for the Nov. 3 general election, Watkins must first win an Aug. 4 primary. He is facing two Republican primary challengers, Jake LaTurner and Dennis Taylor.
Two Democrats, Michelle De La Isla and James K. Windholz, also have filed as candidates for the 2nd Congressional District and will face each other during the primary election.
LaTurner, who currently serves as the state treasurer, has argued Watkins likely will lose in a general election.
But Watkins said the argument that he cannot win reelection is flawed.
In 2018, Watkins was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives by defeating Democrat Paul Davis in what was considered a close election.
Watkins argues Davis, a former minority leader in the Kansas House of Representatives who previously ran for governor, had stronger name recognition in 2018 than De La Isla, who is considered the likely Democratic nominee, does now.
De La Isla is the mayor of Topeka.
“We’ve worked hard to earn the support of many, many people,” Watkins said.