TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) -
A former Army ranger and political newcomer is one step closer to representing Kansas in congress.
Steve Watkins won the republican nomination for the second district congressional seat Tuesday evening. The district covers much of eastern Kansas, including all of Topeka, Holton, Ottawa and Atchison. It excludes Kansas City.
Watkins will now go on to face Democrat Paul Davis in November. Davis is a Lawrence attorney and former Kansas House minority leader who narrowly lost the 2014 governor’s race to Sam Brownback, a Republican.
With Republican Rep. Lynn Jenkins not seeking re-election in the second district, Democrats see the seat as a prime pickup opportunity, even though President Donald Trump won the district by nearly 17 percentage points in 2016.
Watkins served a year in Afghanistan before becoming a defense contractor and consultant there and in Iraq.
Watkins beat fellow republicans Vernon Fields, Steve Fitzgerald, Kevin Jones, Doug Mays, Dennis Pyle, and Caryn Tyson.
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