James Thompson

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Trade was at the top of the agenda at Thursday's 4th Congressional District candidate forum in Pratt.

Republican incumbent Ron Estes and Democratic candidate James Thompson spoke on health care, immigration and taxes — they don't agree on any of those issues — but many of the forum’s questions focused on trade and tariffs.

Plenty of pundits are speculating that a Democratic takeover of the U.S. House would trigger impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.

But the Democrats attempting to flip three Republican-held congressional districts in Kansas aren’t at all eager to talk about the issue.

LaRissa Lawrie / KMUW

Tuesday’s primaries set up a rematch in Kansas’ 4th Congressional District.

After facing each other in last year’s close special election, Rep. Ron Estes and James Thompson will once again be on the ballot in the general election in November.

Last spring, just minutes after learning he had lost the special election for the 4th Congressional District seat to Ron Estes, James Thompson announced he was running again.

"I announced the night that I lost that I was running in 2018 because I saw a fire that was ignited here that we needed to continue pushing," Thompson says. "There was never a question in my mind."

The civil rights lawyer has spent the past year and a half in campaign mode, largely with the same team of supporters that was behind him last year. He says a major difference in this election is time.

Hugo Phan / KMUW

About 4,000 people attended a political rally Friday at Century II in Wichita in support of James Thompson, one of two Democrats running in Kansas' 4th Congressional District.

But perhaps the biggest draws at the "Unite for America" rally were Vermont senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who both endorsed Thompson in his second bid for Congress.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW/File photo

Two leading progressives will be in Wichita next week to campaign for 4th Congressional District candidate James Thompson.

Vermont senator and former Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders and New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will hold a “Unite for America” rally in support of Thompson’s second bid for the 4th District seat.

The final flurry of filings ahead of the Kansas primaries in August didn’t disappoint.

“This is one of the busiest days of the year, every two-year cycle,” said Secretary of State Kris Kobach, surveying the last crop of candidates that paraded in just before the noon deadline Friday.

Performance artist Vermin Supreme made his entrance dressed in tie-dye and with his signature rain boot on his head. He filled out the paperwork to challenge Attorney General Derek Schmidt in the Republican primary, listing a Rockport, Massachusetts, address.

Kansas State Treasury website

U.S. Rep Ron Estes of Wichita has filed to run for office again.

Estes, a Republican, completed paperwork with the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office to run in the 4th Congressional District race.

A former Sedgwick County and state treasurer, Estes was elected to Congress in April 2017. He won a special election over Democrat James Thompson to replace Mike Pompeo, who was named director of the Central Intelligence Agency by President Donald Trump.

Laura Lombard Facebook

A Wichita entrepreneur has entered the race for Kansas’ 4th Congressional District. Laura Lombard will go up against former 4th District candidate James Thompson in next year’s Democratic primary.

Laura Lombard is CEO of an online workforce training company, and is the founder and former director of a trade association focused on the Middle East. She launched her campaign Saturday at the Service Employees International Union building in Wichita.

In a video announcement, Lombard says she wants to be a strong voice in Washington to represent Kansas families.

Hugo Phan / KMUW

Local and national media watched as returns came in during Tuesday night's election. A surprise strong showing for the Democratic candidate may signify a slight shift in a traditionally Republican state.

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