The Kansas Chamber of Commerce’s political action committee hopes some Republican challengers defeat incumbent Republican state lawmakers in the Aug. 2 primary election.
“The 2016 legislative session marked a number of key victories for the Kansas Chamber and the Kansas business community, but progress can still be made to maintain and strengthen our pro-business majority in the Kansas Legislature,” the press release said. The PAC “supports candidates who believe in free market principles, a competitive tax climate, and limited government,” the release said.
The PAC announced its first round of endorsements Monday. In races in this region, the PAC is supporting:
• Lowell Peachey, R-Hutchinson, in his bid to replace Rep. Steven Becker, R-Buhler, in the 104th District.
• Renee Erickson, R-Walton, running against Sen. Carolyn McGinn, R-Sedgwick, in the 31st District.
• Jon Prescott, R-Ellinwood, seeking to win the 113th House seat held by Rep. Greg Lewis, R-St. John.
In other contests in the area, the Chamber PAC is backing incumbents who face challengers. Incumbents endorsed include:
• Sen. Terry Bruce, R-Nickerson, being challenged by Edward Berger, R-Hutchinson, in the 34th District.
• Sen. Larry Powell, R-Garden City, being challenged by Rep. John Doll, R-Garden City in the 39th District.
• Sen. Richard Wilborn, R-McPherson, who has no primary opponent but will face Lyons Democrat Levi Morris in the general election in the 35th District.
• Rep. Jack Thimesch, R-Spivey, being challenged by Herchel Crainer III, R-Hutchinson, in the 114th District.
In a primary contest for an open seat, the PAC is endorsing:
• Larry Salmans, R-Hanston, who faces Mary Jo Taylor, R-Stafford, in the 33rd Senate District
In other races for seats in play in November, the PAC is endorsing:
• Larry Alley, R-Winfield, who will face Don Shimkus, D-Oxford, in the 32nd Senate District.
• Rep. Marc Rhoades, R-Newton, being challenged by North Newton Democrat Tim Hodge in the 72nd District.
• Rep. Les Mason, R-McPherson, being challenged by Terrance Krier, D-McPherson, in the 73rd District.
“The Chamber PAC is committed to supporting hard-working candidates who will fight to make Kansas the best state in the nation in which to live and do business,” said Chamber PAC Chairman Amanda Adkins.
The Chamber PAC had about $147,000 cash on hand as of the end of 2015.