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Democratic Nominee For 4th Congressional District Focuses On Constitutional Rights

Deborah Shaar
KMUW/File photo
Fourth Congressional District Democratic nominee James Thompson.

James Thompson, the Democratic nominee in the 4th District congressional race, is making constitutional rights one of his campaign issues. He held his first news conference on Monday.

Thompson is a civil rights attorney in Wichita, and this is his first run for public office.

He says he’s a staunch defender of the Bill of Rights.

Thompson says the constitution needs to be the cornerstone of every government decision.

"I’m going to fight like hell to protect the constitution," Thompson says. "I’ve sworn twice in my life to protect it; once when I was in the army and [then again] when I became an attorney. I intend on doing that all the way through."

Thompson says human trafficking is one priority issue he wants to work on in Washington, D.C., if elected. He issued a platform and policy statement Monday that calls for federal level changes to help end what he calls a human rights violation.

He says punitive measures must be increased against the people responsible for exploiting and hiring children and adults forced into human trafficking situations.

Thompson says more training is needed for front-line workers—such as police officers, prosecutors, social workers and hospital staff—who encounter victims of human trafficking so they can recognize the signs and report it.

He'll face Republican Ron Estes and Libertarian Chris Rockhold in the April 11 special election.

Former Congressman Mike Pompeo resigned from the 4th District seat when he was named the head of the CIA.

Thompson says he’s getting support from outside the 4th District because this will be one of the first congressional elections to be held since President Donald Trump took office.

"They do see this as a referendum on some of the policies out there," he says. "More than that, the people of Kansas, the people in this district, are concerned that we are going to take the failed policies of [Gov.] Brownback through Mr. Estes and try to nationalize them, and they don’t want to have that. So we have support coming in from all over the state and all over the country."


Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.


Deborah joined the news team at KMUW in September 2014 as a news reporter. She spent more than a dozen years working in news at both public and commercial radio and television stations in Ohio, West Virginia and Detroit, Michigan. Before relocating to Wichita in 2013, Deborah taught news and broadcasting classes at Tarrant County College in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area.