Ex-governor seeks challenger for Watkins



August 28, 2019 - 10:15 AM

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Former Kansas Republican Gov. Jeff Colyer on Tuesday urged the state treasurer to drop his Senate bid and instead challenge freshman Rep. Steve Watkins in the GOP primary, arguing the move would help “nominate a candidate that can win.”

Colyer’s public opposition to a congressman from his own party came less than a week after Watkins, responding to internet rumors and speculation, tweeted that he was not resigning: “Let me get this straight. I have to deny a resignation that no one called for. Got it. Done. K, going back to work. See you in November.”

Colyer issued a statement saying the eastern Kansas district’s voters are “solid, conservative folks” who deserve to be represented by someone sharing their values. Spokesman Colton Gibson said Colyer is not taking issue with Watkins on any policy issues but is concerned about “keeping the seat in Republican hands.”

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