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Pompeo victorious after quiet campaign

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, at 1:35 a.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, at 6:52 a.m.

U.S. Rep Mike Pompeo made a grand entrance into the Sedgwick County Republican election party Tuesday night, still unsure about national results but looking forward to his second term in Congress.

“I think we’ll continue to have an incredibly spirited debate about the size of the federal government,” he said. “And I’m still completely convinced that you can’t spend a trillion bucks a year more than you take in and survive as a nation for very long.”

“The battle continues to be for creating a climate where this country is the place where people want to invest and grow jobs,” Pompeo said. “What we’re seeing all across the country tonight is, those candidates who campaigned on that message are succeeding.”

No longer being a freshman congressman “means I’ve got a much better grasp on the things I can do to move Kansas and the agenda of the folks I represent forward.”

Pompeo’s victory comes after a quiet campaign, which was much different from the contentious primary and aggressive general election he faced two years ago in his run for public office.

He returns to Washington emphasizing the free market as the road to restoring the economy, the same message he stressed in his first two years as a congressman.

Pompeo said during the campaign that he was optimistic that America will come together to find solutions to its economic struggles.

He said government has to get out of the way and “let the risk-takers and American innovators provide the engine of growth.”

He was also critical of his party of not doing enough to let that happen. He said Republicans have allowed big companies to drive policy, especially on the regulatory side where rules can help big businesses beat back competition from small companies.

A former Wichita business owner, Pompeo said he considers himself to be pro free market and not pro business.

Koch Industries and the Koch family, among the nation’s biggest champions of the free market approach, were some of the largest financial contributors to his campaign.

Koch Industries had given Pompeo $90,000 – $80,000 from individuals and $10,000 from its political action committee – through Sept. 30, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a campaign finance watchdog group.

He had spent about $560,000 on this campaign as of Sept. 30 – a fraction of the $2.1 million he spent during his 2010 race.

Robert Tillman, a retired court services worker, lost in his second run for 4th District seat. He also lost in the 2010 Democrat primary.

The three other Kansas Republican representatives also won re-election.

In the 2nd District in eastern Kansas, U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins, a former state legislator and treasurer, defeated Topeka pastor Tobias Schlingensiepen (shling-ehn-SEE’-pehn).

In the 3rd District, Rep. Kevin Yoder won his race against Libertarian Joel Balam. The district covers all of Johnson, Wyandotte and the northern portion of Miami counties.

Freshman U.S. Rep. Tim Huelskamp faced no Democratic challenger in the 1st District in western Kansas.

Contributing: Associated Press

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