State Sen. Jim Barnett is the latest of six Republican candidates who already have entered the 2010 race for Kansas’ 1st Congressional District seat, which seven-term incumbent Jerry Moran has left open to run for the U.S. Senate.
But Barnett is unlikely to be the least in the Republican field. In fact, the high profile he achieved as the 2006 GOP nominee for governor could certainly boost him into the top tier of candidates competing in the 1st, one of the nation’s leading Republican Party strongholds.
Barnett lost that governor’s race pretty badly, by 58 percent to 41 percent, to incumbent Kathleen Sebelius , a rare popular Democrat in statewide politics who recently resigned to become secretary of Health and Human Services under President Obama. But Barnett did better on the strongly Republican turf of the 1st, finishing first in roughly half of the 69 counties that are all or part in the district.