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Kansas Rep. Jake LaTurner won’t run for third term

‘Serving in and running for Congress has taken a toll,’ 36-year-old Republican says

Rep. Jake LaTurner, R-Kan., said he will not seek reelection in November.
Rep. Jake LaTurner, R-Kan., said he will not seek reelection in November. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Jake LaTurner, a Kansas Republican whose swift rise through the political ranks began when he was elected to the state Senate at the age of 24, is the latest member of the House to announce that he won’t seek reelection.

LaTurner, who at 36 is the third-youngest Republican in the House, said in a statement Thursday that serving in Congress was the professional honor of my life, but it is time to pursue other opportunities and have the benefit of spending more time with my family.”

LaTurner, who represents the 2nd District, is the father of four young boys and “the busy schedule of serving in and running for Congress has taken a toll” on his family life, he said. 

“The unrepeatable season of life we are in, where our kids are still young and at home, is something I want to be more present for,’’ he said.

LaTurner is the 14th House Republican to say they will not run for another term. Five other members of the conference chose to run for another office, and five have resigned or announced plans to quit (with one since replaced by another Republican).

After serving in the state Senate, LaTurner was appointed the Kansas state treasurer in 2017 by former Republican Gov. Sam Brownback. LaTurner won election to the position the following year. 

In 2020, he defeated embattled Rep. Steve Watkins in the Republican primary after Watkins was charged with felony voter fraud for listing a UPS store post office box as his home address on a voter registration form. 

The race in the district, which includes Topeka and Emporia, is rated Solid Republican by Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales. The GOP primary will be held on Aug. 6 and, prior to his announcement, LaTurner did not have a Republican challenger. The filing deadline to run in the primary is June 3.

LaTurner serves on the Appropriations and Oversight and Accountability committees.  

In his statement, LaTurner asserted that governing is sometimes a messy process, but he remains hopeful that those divides can be overcome.

“It has become fashionable for some to fear for the future of this country and act as though the problems we face and the divisions that exist are insurmountable, but that is just not true. Undoubtedly, the current dysfunction on Capitol Hill is distressing, but it almost always has been; we just didn’t see most of it. I remain optimistic about the future of this country, not only because we have overcome more significant obstacles in the past, but that the vast majority of people I have served with are good and trying to do the right thing,’’ he said.

Andrew Siddons contributed to this report.

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