A state legislator announced Tuesday that he will challenge U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins in the Republican primary in Kansas' 2nd Congressional District, arguing that she's not conservative enough to be the GOP nominee again.

A state legislator announced Tuesday that he will challenge U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins in the Republican primary in Kansas' 2nd Congressional District, arguing that she's not conservative enough to be the GOP nominee again.


Sen. Dennis Pyle, of Hiawatha, has been preparing for a possible run against the freshman congresswoman for months. He formed a campaign organization in November and set up a website. The primary is Aug. 2.


Pyle, a farmer, has served in the Legislature since 2001 and is among its most conservative members, both on fiscal and social issues. His campaign already is attempting to make Jenkins' record on abortion a key issue.


"The people of Kansas and especially those in the 2nd District deserve a true conservative as their congressman," Pyle said. "I am a proven conservative in every sense."


Jenkins' campaign manager, Joshua Lewis, pointed to the 92 percent rating that she received from the American Conservative Union for her first year in Congress.


Also, he noted, she has been endorsed by the other Republicans in the state's congressional delegation and the GOP state senators in her eastern Kansas congressional district.


"Dennis Pyle is supported by Senator Pyle," Lewis said. "We welcome him to the race and look forward to the debate."


Jenkins is a former legislator and two-term state treasurer. She won the 2nd District seat in 2008 by ousting freshman Democratic Rep. Nancy Boyda.


Democrats have two declared candidates. Thomas Koch, a part-time Leavenworth janitor and former bar owner, filed for the seat earlier this month. Cheryl Hudspeth, a former banking and economic development official from Girard, announced in February that she is running but has yet to formally organize a campaign.