PITTSBURG, Kan. — With the election only three weeks away, GOP candidates and their endorsers are becoming regular fixtures in Pittsburg.
On Tuesday, Kansas State Treasurer and Congressional Candidate Jake LaTurner met with officials at his old stomping ground Watco — the short-line railroad company where he once worked — and brought along some special guests: House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, and Rep. Ron Estes, R-Kansas.
The trio had a meeting with Watco officials before holding a brief press conference where Watco Executive Chairman Rick Webb, Estes and McCarthy all gave their endorsements of LaTurner.
“The reason why we think Jake LaTurner is so special is he’s a Watco guy,” Webb said. “He has been a great advocate for rail transportation, and he’s done a magnificent job as a public servant with every role he’s ever done and we’re extremely excited about him becoming our congressman.”
LaTurner is running for a seat in Kansas’ second district which includes Topeka, Lawrence and all of the southeastern part of the state. LaTurner, who grew up in Galena, worked at Watco until he ran for the Kansas Senate in 2013.
“Southeast Kansas is home for me,” he said. “It is time we have quality representation in Washington, D.C. We need somebody who is going to make sure that the voices of southeast Kansas are heard.”
LaTurner, who has been to Pittsburg twice in two weeks to appeal to voters, said in addition to this area being his home, it’s important that people feel motivated to get out and vote on Nov. 3.
“This is critical, and we need southeast Kansas to show up in this election,” he said.
Estes and McCarthy said that LaTurner is just the kind of congressman Kansas needs representing them.
“It’s been important since I left the state treasurer’s office and ran for Congress that we had good representation in D.C. to bring some of that Kansas common sense to Washington, D.C.,” Estes said.“I glad to be here today and help support Jake and I look forward to him getting elected and getting to DC to help us make some good decisions.”
McCarthy said he has never seen a man more ready to get started.
“I’ve never noticed an individual who is better prepared to hit the ground running than Jake. That’s why I’m here because he asked me to come here before the race was ever over. He wanted me to see firsthand the importance of the things that he will work on.”
McCarthy, as the House minority leader in D.C., said he gets asked to support a lot of candidates across the country during election season. However, after talking with LaTurner, he knew he had to come to southeast Kansas.
“He’s been telling me about the district, and I wanted to see it first hand,” McCarthy said. “He’s someone that continues to put people before politics, which is something you don’t see too often in Washington.”