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Fallout Continues for Watkins

Representative Steve Watkins had felony criminal charges filed against him last week over voter registration issues, and the fallout from that continues.

The U.S. House Republican conference’s rules require members facing a potential felony conviction to leave their committee posts.

Watkins has left the three committees – the House education, foreign affairs, and veterans’ affairs committees – that he had been on.

Watkins said that he left the committees “temporarily and voluntarily”.

He also lost the backing of Kansans for Life, the state’s most influential anti-abortion group.

The organization had endorsed him and a GOP rival, State Treasurer Jake LaTurner, but is now only endorsing LaTurner.

Melissa Leach, the director of the group’s political action committee, said that the change was due to the legal issues and Watkins leaving the congressional committees.

Watkins is accused of voting illegally in a Topeka City Council race in November 2019, and providing false information to a sheriff’s deputy who was investigating whether he broke state election laws.

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