Indications that U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall, R-Great Bend, is interested in getting a seat on the powerful U.S. House Ways and Means Committee has hurt his standing with the farm industry.
He needs to remember who brought him to the dance, is the view of some members of Kansas Farm Bureau, according to Ryan Flickner, senior director of public policy for the organization.
Marshall most likely would lose his House Agriculture Committee seat if he won a seat on Ways and Means.
“I do think Rep. Marshall is well-liked,” Flickner said of Kansas Farm Bureau members’ views of Marshall. However, some members have “heartburn” over reports they hear of Marshall’s interest in Ways and Means. Kansas’ Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Topeka, opted not to run for re-election and its her spot on Ways and Means that is stirring interest.
Kansas Farm Bureau’s political arm issued endorsements Friday ahead of the Aug. 7 primary election. There likely will be more endorsements ahead of the November general election, but probably not before the primary, Flickner said.
The Voters Organized to Elect Farm Bureau Friends’ political action committee endorsed Gov. Jeff Colyer for governor and the re-election of Attorney Gen. Derek Schmidt.
Notably absent from the endorsement list was the 1st Congressional District race. The Kansas Farm Bureau endorsed no one, although it endorsed candidates in the other three Congressional Districts: U.S. Reps. Kevin Yoder, R-Overland Park, and Ron Estes, R-Wichita, and Caryn Tyson, R-Parker, running for Jenkins’ 2nd Congressional District seat.
First-term Congressman Marshall faces a primary challenger, Nick Reinecker, Inman. The winner will be opposed by Alan LaPolice, D-Clyde.
“For them to do that, that is pretty big,” LaPolice said Friday of the absence of a Kansas Farm Bureau endorsement for Marshall. Marshall’s office made no comment Friday afternoon.
Two years ago, Marshall courted the Kansas Farm Bureau to win its support. Incumbent Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler/Hutchinson, had been kicked off the House Agriculture Committee and the Kansas agricultural community wanted a Kansan on the House Agriculture Committee when the Farm Bill was written. Kansas’ Sen. Pat Roberts is chairman of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee.
Marshall won the endorsement and Huelskamp’s House seat. He also was appointed to the House Agriculture Committee.
In January, Marshall’s chief of staff Brent Robertson told The News that some people thought getting a physician such as Marshall on Ways and Means would be an attractive possibility. Estes is openly pursuing the Ways and Means seat.
Flickner said the last thing they needed was to have Marshall and Estes ultimately cancel each other out and no Kansan would serve on Ways and Means. It oversees taxation, reciprocal trade agreements, and bonded debt.
Those serving on Ways and Means typically don’t have other committee assignments. Marshall could get a waiver to serve on both Ways and Means and Agriculture, but Flickner considers that extremely unlikely.
Many Kansas House of Representatives incumbents picked up the Kansas Farm Bureau’s backing. In Reno County, the PAC endorsed State Reps. Steven Becker, R-Buhler; Joe Seiwert, R-Pretty Prairie; and Jack Thimesch, R-Spivey. State Rep. Jason Probst, D-Hutchinson, was not endorsed. He is running unopposed.
Probst voted against a bill to allow large-scale poultry feeding operations, and that bill was a key one for the agriculture sector, Flickner said. The feedback at the county level was that Probst was not strong on agricultural issues, according to Flickner, and his voting record reflected that.
Other Kansas House incumbents in the region who picked up a nod from Kansas Farm Bureau were: Reps. Les Mason, Don Schroeder, Steven Johnson, Troy Waymaster, Ken Rahjes, Eber Phelps, Tory Marie Arnberger, Greg Lewis, Boyd Orr, Kyle Hoffman, Leonard Mastroni, Don Hineman, Brad Ralph, J. Russell Jennings, John Wheeler Jr., and Shannon Francis.
Martin “Marty” Long, a Republican running for the 124th House seat being vacated by Rep. J. Stephen Alford, R-Ulysses, also was endorsed.