Huelskamp, the chairman of the House Tea Party Caucus, has garnered a lot of attention as well as scorn during a combative tenure that saw him booted off the House Agricultural Committee.A little background:
With 13 percent of precincts reporting in the western Kansas district, Huelskamp trailed with 41 percent of the vote to Marshall’s 59 percent.
Marshall, an obstetrician from Great Bend, gained the endorsement of the Kansas Farm Bureau — giving him some clout against Huelskamp’s backing from anti-abortion and gun-rights groups, as well as the Club for Growth and the National Federation of Independent Business.
Huelskamp rode into office in the 2010 tea party rout and was part of standoffs, including tension around the government shutdown in 2013, that drove former House Speaker John Boehner from office a year ago.
Kansas farmers are taking on some of America’s most powerful conservative interests in an attempt to oust U.S. Representative Tim Huelskamp, a Tea Party favorite kicked off the House Agriculture Committee for ideological rigidity.
The Club for Growth and the Koch brothers, whose Koch Industries Inc. is based in Wichita, are backing Huelskamp, who opposed a farm bill providing crop insurance farmers deem vital -- which former Speaker John Boehner backed. For farmers, little means more than Huelskamp’s opposition to the bill and loss of his committee seat, marking the end of almost a century of Kansas representation. Agribusiness groups support Republican primary challenger Roger Marshall, an obstetrician who says regaining the state’s voice on farm matters is his first priority.
“As a farmer or a rancher, we need the safety net of the farm bill,” said Orrin Holle, a Rawlins County farmer. “Western Kansas, which is most of his district, sees severe droughts.”
The Aug. 2 primary may show the limits of the anti-establishment politics that have swept Kansas. In 2012, Governor Sam Brownback, promising a “real live experiment” for Tea Party policies, won enactment of broad tax cuts. The resulting $400 million budget hole forced public schools to end the school year early and led Standard & Poor’s to downgrade Kansas’s credit one step to AA, third-highest, and to put it on watch for further reductions.
Brownback won re-election, but the state’s Republican Party was bitterly split. Huelskamp’s loss of the Agriculture Committee seat provides another test of the state’s faith in ideology over pragmatism....
Huelskamp, a 47-year-old, fifth-generation farmer from Fowler who began his tenure in 2011, said he’s sensitive to constituent needs.
“Crop insurance was my first, second, third priority in the farm bill and it was in there,” he said. He voted against the bill, he said, because it didn’t require stricter work requirements for the more than 46 million Americans seeking food stamps at the time.
The Tea Party has always been playing with fire when it comes to voting against the Farm Bill because they hate food stamps. They should be smart enough to know that urban Congressmen only vote for the Farm Bill because of the food stamp program, but as we've seen, Tea Party congressmen aren't that smart. Goodbye, Mr. Huelskamp. I'm not going to miss you.