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Kansas Republican Rep. LaTurner Opts Against Seeking Re-election

Representative Jake LaTurner (Credits: The Daily Beast)

Representative Jake LaTurner, a Republican from Kansas, announced on Thursday that he will not seek reelection for a third term, adding more pressure on Republicans to maintain their slim majority in the House.

LaTurner, aged 36, who represents Kansas’ 2nd Congressional District, stated in a released statement that his tenure in Congress and the campaign trail have taken a toll on him. He expressed his desire to explore other opportunities and allocate more time to his family.

The departure of LaTurner further reduces the House Republican majority to 218-213. This decline follows the earlier exits of remarkable figures such as former Speaker Kevin McCarthy of California, Ken Buck of Colorado, Bill Johnson of Ohio, Chris Stewart of Utah, and the expulsion of George Santos of New York.

GOP Rep. Jake LaTurner (Credits: Los Angeles Magazine)

Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin, chair of the House Armed Services Committee, had plans to depart on Friday but might extend his stay to vote on several foreign aid bills concerning Ukraine, Israel, and the Indo-Pacific region.

Unlike his colleagues, LaTurner, who serves on the Appropriations and Oversight committees, has pledged to complete his term. According to Ballotpedia, thirteen other House Republicans, along with twelve Democrats, have announced their decision not to seek reelection in November, intensifying the battle for control of the House.

In his statement, LaTurner expressed gratitude to the people of Kansas for the opportunity to serve in Congress but emphasized the need to prioritize family despite the demanding responsibilities of public office. He highlighted his desire to be more present for his four young children during this crucial period of their lives.

With LaTurner withdrawing from the race, the August 6 primary in Kansas now lacks a Republican candidate. Potential contenders, including Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson and Kansas House Majority Leader Chris Croft, are reportedly considering entering the race, as reported by the Kansas City Star.

Jake LaTurner (Credits: KSNT)

LaTurner’s district, encompassing much of eastern Kansas, has consistently supported Republican presidential nominees since 2000. He secured victories in the past two elections with 55.2% of the vote in 2020 and 57.6% in 2022.

Mike Kuckelman, a former chair of the Kansas Republican Party, expressed surprise at LaTurner’s decision, noting that many anticipated his reelection bid. He speculated that potential candidates might now step forward to fill the void left by LaTurner’s departure.

Despite acknowledging the challenges and dysfunction in Capitol Hill, LaTurner remains hopeful about the nation’s future. He expressed confidence in the resilience of the American people and the enduring strength of the republic established by the nation’s founders.

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