Democratic congressional nominee Paul Davis received endorsements Friday from the Fraternal Order of Police, the Kansas State Council of Firefighters and a pair of law enforcement officials grateful for state laws to thwart sex predators, domestic abusers and the sale of illegal drugs.
Davis, a Lawrence attorney who served in the Kansas House from 2003 to 2015, is competing for the U.S. House seat to be surrendered by U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, a Republican. The GOP nominee in the 2nd District is Steve Watkins, of Topeka, and the Libertarian candidate is Kelly Standley, of St. Paul.
“These folks have difficult, demanding and dangerous jobs, but they do it each and every day without hesitation or fanfare,” Davis said. “Their service to their local communities in Kansas is very much appreciated.”
Watkins said he would strive during the campaign to win over public safety professionals in the district.
“These organizations truly represent the best Kansas has to offer and I’m going to do everything I can to earn the support of their rank-and-file members,” Watkins said.
The police and firefighter organizations’ announcements were followed by endorsements by Cherokee County Sheriff David Groves and Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson.
“In order for us to do our jobs successfully, we must work in partnership with our local elected officials — people who know us, who live in our communities, who understand the unique challenges we face,” Groves said. “In this race, that candidate, that leader, is Paul Davis.”
He said Davis worked as a state legislator in a bipartisan way to combat drug abuse, especially methamphetamine. Davis responded to constituent concerns by improving hit-and-run laws and reforming sexual predator statutes, Branson said.
Bob Wing, president of the State Council of Firefighters, said Davis was committed to protecting Social Security and was part of a coalition of Republicans and Democrats that took steps to stabilize the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System.
In response to questions, Davis said he preferred the special counsel inquiry of federal election misconduct to conclude before deciding how Congress should proceed. He expressed frustration with a tax law signed by President Donald Trump that provided 80 percent of the benefit to individuals making more than $900,000 annually. He said Kansas ought to expand eligibility for Medicaid and fix shortcomings in the Affordable Care Act.
In the 3rd District race with U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, the Republican congressman criticized Democratic nominee Sharice Davids for apparently contradictory statements about future funding of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Yoder said Davids ought to have rejected a podcast host’s contention that ICE’s policy of deportation was grounded in racist beliefs.
“The notion that our system is built on white supremacy and racism is beyond the pale. My opponent must disavow these comments,” he said.
On the podcast in July, Davids said she would consider transferring immigration enforcement duties to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. More recently, she said in an interview that she was against defunding ICE.
“There are plenty of ways that don’t include ICE as an enforcement agency, you know, having an enforcement agency related to immigration at the Department of Homeland Security,” she said. “We have to get away from thinking of everyone who is coming to the United States as a threat.”