At Friday’s meeting of the Wichita Pachyderm Club, United States Congressman for the fourth district of Kansas Todd Tiahrt was the speaker. Dion Lefler of the Wichita Eagle covered Tiaht’s speech in the news story Tiahrt offers thoughts on Obama, stimulus to Wichita Pachyderm Club. After the meeting I spoke to the congressman and asked a few questions.
One topic that seems to be on the minds of many Republicans is the desire to avoid a prolonged primary battle for the United States Senate seat between Tiahrt and Kansas first district congressman Jerry Moran. I asked Tiahrt if it’s important to avoid this conflict.
“Everybody that’s concerned about that ought to get on my team right away. That would be the most significant thing that would eliminate a primary.” Tiahrt added that people are looking for someone who gets the job done. He said that I’m the one who gets the job done, and that our senators come to my office, not Moran’s, when things need to get done in the House.
I asked if he and Rep. Moran could come to some agreement to avoid a messy primary, perhaps expenditure limits. Tiahrt would not make a commitment to such an agreement unilaterally and said “I’m going to do what it takes to win.” Voters in Kansas have a right to know the records of both candidates, he said, and limiting resources might limit his ability to get out the message.
Many local Republicans are expressing interest in replacing Tiahrt in Congress. So does he have a favorite? “We have a lot of quality candidates” was his diplomatic response.