The race features several candidates, including conservative hero State Senator Tim Huelskamp and former Brownback staffer Rob Wasinger.
Huelskamp, solidly pro-life, was recently endorsed for Congress by Kansans for Life -- he is also the only candidate to have gone on record opposing Governor Kathleen Sebelius’ nomination to be HHS Secretary (read his op-ed in American Spectator).
Wasinger hasn't taken a stance on Sebelius -- presumably because Sam Brownback is supporting Sebelius' nomination to become Secretery of Health and Human Services.
Wasinger, of course, enjoys the sort of perks you would expect a former Senate staffer to enjoy. He was in DC for years, so he has made friends with a lot of DC powerbrokers and opinion leaders.
But being out of state has a downside, too. Before being a staffer in DC, he was away at bording school in New England for several years. So Wasinger hasn't lived in Kansas going on 15 years. Perhaps this is why there appears to be an attempt to portray him as a "real Kansan". One prominent blogger named Beldar even wrote this laughable post in praise of Wasinger the other day:
"I received an email from a trusted blogospheric friend today directing me to a post on Redstate.com from a real Kansan..."
Excluse me ... a real Kansan ... This is an enteresting angle to take, considering Huelskamp (the other major candidate) has been a Kansas State Senator since 1997 and is a farmer in Fowler, KS. My guess is Beldar doesn't live in Kansas. Heck, I live in Texas -- but I at least Google things before writing about them.
Over the years, Huelskamp has been recognized by a variety of Kansas conservative groups, including: Top Friend of the Taxpayer, Kansas Taxpayers Network; Daniel Award for Courageous Leadership, Kansans for Life; Taxpayer Champion, Americans For Prosperity-Kansas; career A rating, NRA; and Hero of the Taxpayer, Americans for Tax Reform.
In short, in the state of Kansas, Huelskamp is essentially a conservative rockstar.
Meanwhile, Wasinger essentially moved back to Kansas because he saw that a Congressional seat was opening up.
A local Kansas newspaper actually describes the race this way:
"Too bad the 1st District congressional seat in Kansas doesn't come open more often. We might be able use this apparently coveted job as a way to increase population in western Kansas - the term "western" used loosely, of course, as it is in eastern Kansas."
If you think this race is hot now, consider this: The primary isn't until August of 2010.