LaTurner humbled to be elected to Congress, says real work is ahead

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Jake LaTurner during the campaign/Photo courtesy of Kansans for LaTurner

By BRENT MARTIN

St. Joseph Post

Congressman-elect Jake LaTurner says he’s ready to go to
Washington to represent the Second Congressional District of Kansas.

LaTurner had to win two elections to get there, first deciding
to run against incumbent Republican Steve Watkins in the primary. LaTurner, the
Kansas State Treasurer, acknowledges top Kansas Republicans urged him to abandon
any thoughts of running for U.S. Senate and concentrate on the Congressional
seat.

“What really mattered to me was hearing from voters across the
Second Congressional District,” LaTurner tells St. Joseph Post. “People in the
Second Congressional District very much wanted a new representative in Congress
and they called me and they told me about that. I was very humbled by the
support.”

The Second Congressional District hugs the eastern border of
Kansas, except for the cutout of the greater Kansas City area, a huge district
which stretches from Nebraska to Oklahoma. It includes much of northeast
Kansas.

LaTurner won the Republican primary over Watkins, receiving
49% of the vote compared to Watkins’ 34%. He won big in the General Election,
though many thought Democrat Michelle De La Isla, the Topeka mayor, would
provide tough competition. LaTurner received 55% of the vote to 41% for De La
Isla.

LaTurner credits a lot of hard work.

“We’re really humbled by it, honestly,” LaTurner says. “We had
a clear message. We communicated it to the voters. We’re really proud of the
results and understand the responsibility that comes along with that.”

Nationally, Democrats targeted the seat and spent a lot of
money during the campaign. LaTurner says some of the statements made by
national Democratic leaders during the summer of unrest, especially the
rallying cry of defund the police, turned off residents of the Second
Congressional District.

Instead, LaTurner ran on what his campaign called the “Contract
with Kansas.”

“Again, (it’s) an attractive message when you say that you believe
in individual responsibility, freedom, lower taxes, less government intervention
in your life; that you support the Second Amendment, that you support our law
enforcement officers,” according to LaTurner. “That is a message that Americans
believe in.”

LaTurner says he understands the real work lies ahead.

“And now the real key to all of this is to not just talk about
it during a campaign year, but to go to Washington, D.C. and get to work and
actually get something done.”