Kansas has an all-out race for the 2nd District in Congress

The district's new boundaries changed the demographics and political landscape. The race is attracting attention from both parties after sitting Republican Congressman Jake LaTurner said he would not run for reelection.



July 11, 2024 - 3:16 PM

This map compares the new 2nd District drawn in 2022 to the previous district. Photo by Daniel Wheaton of the Midwest Newsroom / U.S. Census date compiled with Datawrapper

When Kansans elect their U.S. congress members this fall, it’ll be the first time there’s an open seat in the 2nd District since the districts were redrawn in 2022.

The district covers much of the eastern third of Kansas and is attracting a lot of attention heading into November. Here’s a look at how the district was redrawn and how that could affect elections:

Kansas lawmakers redrew the state’s districts in 2022, but it wasn’t a smooth process.

• Republicans control the Kansas Legislature, so they were in charge of drawing the new districts in Kansas. Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly vetoed the plan but lawmakers later overrode the veto.

• A district judge also tried to strike down the new map over what he called pro-Republican gerrymandering, but the Kansas Supreme Court ultimately overruled his decision.

Lawmakers changed the political landscape of the 2nd District by removing certain areas.

• A big area impacted by the new districts is Kansas City, Kansas. It was previously in the 3rd District – the only one represented by a Democrat. But now, the city is split across the 2nd and 3rd Districts.

• Republicans also moved much of Lawrence, which is consistently Democratic, out of the 2nd District and into the heavily conservative 1st District.

• The 2nd District did become slightly more diverse after picking up parts of Kansas City. But as it’s drawn now, it still went solidly for Republican former President Donald Trump in 2020.

• Altogether, these changes make it more difficult for Democrats to flip the 2nd District.

Incumbent Republican Rep. Jake LaTurner announced he wouldn’t seek re-election so he could spend time with his young children. A lot of people are stepping up to replace him.

• There’s typically a large pool of candidates when you have an open seat like this.

• In this race, there are five Republicans and two Democrats running.

• That includes Republican former state Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Nancy Boyda, a Democrat who represented the 2nd District more than 15 years ago.

• Last time there was an open race, there were seven candidates in the Republican primary alone.

March 4, 2022
September 3, 2021
September 6, 2019
August 18, 2018