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EMILY’s List target shows Watkins may end up with female opponent, says Washburn professor

EMILY’s List has put a target on the back of the new Congressman from the Second District in Kansas. Roll Call reported last week that Steve Watkins is on a list of targets that the pro-choice group is going after in 2020.

“Studies have shown that Congressmen and Congresswomen are most vulnerable in the first election after they’re elected,” said Washburn University political scientist Bob Beatty. “They’re not yet able to build up that home style, that home cooking of getting those reliable votes. It’s actually the perfect time to go after somebody like Congressman Watkins.”

EMILY’s List strongly prefers to be supporting female candidates.

“Their announcing this early is a big hint to the Kansas Democratic Party in my opinion,” said Beatty. “Find a woman to run. Specifically, they’re saying, find another Sharice Davids.”

Davids is the new Congresswoman from Kansas Third District. She, along with Governor Laura Kelly, was backed by EMILY’s list in 2018.

“I think there’s a few people, maybe more than a few Democrats that are looking at the last election, the Paul Davis-Steve Watkins election and wondering, what if we had run a woman?”

Watkins is one of 43 House Republicans being targeted by the group.


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