In front of a crowd of enthusiastic supporters at the Pumphouse in Old Town Wichita, Kansas House of Representatives member Raj Goyle held a kick-off event for his campaign for the United States Congress from the fourth district of Kansas.
In his brief remarks, Goyle said that after receiving his education out-of-state, he — unlike many young people — came back to Kansas. He told how outside Kansas, out state’s perception is not what we know it should be. The perception is that we’re not forward-thinking or dynamic. So he decided to run for the Kansas House of Representatives in 2006, from a district that had never elected a Democrat.
He mentioned his work and leadership in passing legislation limiting the ability of Fred Phelps and members of his church from disruptively protesting funerals of soldiers.
He also mentioned his advocacy in passing a bill that allowed Kansas to accept $70 million in federal stimulus money to extend unemployment benefits.
He mentioned that he has never missed a vote in the Kansas House He said he has never taken a free personal meal from a lobbyist, nor has he accepted a taxpayer-funded trip.
Goyle said that the American dream is in jeopardy, and is slowly slipping away, and that he will work every day to make sure that dream is “as available to you as it was for me.”
He told young people that they should not have to choose between a well-paying, high-quality job and leaving Wichita.
As Goyle has no serious challenger in the primary, and as he is unlikely to draw a challenger with name recognition and the ability to raise money, it’s a bit of a puzzle as to why he’s hitting the campaign trail so soon, some 11 months before the primary. The real action in the fourth district Congressional race in is the crowded Republican primary field.
Goyle’s talk was short on substantive discussion of issues, which is probably the strategy I’d follow if I had no serious primary opposition and was speaking to an audience of enthusiastic supporters.
I attended the event with my colleague John Todd, and as far as we could tell, we were the only non-Democrats in attendance. My presence caused a few tweets on Twitter, one remarking “Oh dear lord!” at my presence. Most of the Democrats I talked to were cordial — including the candidate himself — except for one quite disagreeable union activist who assumed I was there to collect dirt on Goyle, assumed I supported President Obama’s heckler, and painted me as a racist simply because I belong to the same party as Lynn Jenkins, she of the “great white hope” remark.