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Tiahrt still considering a new run for Congress

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, May 15, 2014, at 9:48 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, May 29, 2014, at 9:52 p.m.

Less than three weeks before the filing deadline, former 4th District Congressman Todd Tiahrt is still pondering whether to try to get his old job back.

“I really haven’t made a decision yet,” he said Thursday, “but I’m considering it. I still have some time.”

That’s a shift from his position in January when he said he didn’t plan to run.

The filing deadline is June 2. Tiahrt would be running against fellow Republican Mike Pompeo.

Pompeo succeeded Tiahrt three years ago after Tiahrt opted to run for the U.S. Senate seat in 2010. He lost to Jerry Moran in the primaries.

In January, Pompeo filed to seek a third term.

“I need Vicki’s vote,” Tiahrt said of his wife, “or it’s not going to happen.”

He said residents in the 4th District, which includes the Wichita area, tell him they aren’t being listened to by Pompeo.

“If you don’t listen to the people,” Tiahrt said, “you can’t be a good representative.

“There’s not been much listening the last four years. If you don’t have any town halls, if you just run around the world, you’re not listening to them.”

J.P. Freire, Pompeo’s campaign spokesman, said in a statement that Pompeo has been accessible and actively listening to his constituents.

“He consistently speaks with thousands of constituents through telephone, town halls, personal meetings and visits around the District,” he said. “Just this week he’s been with over 300 constituents including a town hall in Winfield.

“He’s always glad to hear from Kansans about their concerns.”

Tiahrt, who lives in Goddard, has operated a consulting business since leaving Congress.

In March, he resigned from an additional position as CEO of Neumann Systems Group, a Colorado Springs company that designs and builds emissions control systems for power plants.

Tiahrt said he took the job in January 2013 in part because a long-time friend, David Neumann, the CEO at the time, was having some heart problems. Neumann’s health has since improved, Tiahrt said, and he’s been able to be more active with the company.

And the time commitment for being in Colorado was a problem, he said. “We were out there three weeks out of every month.”

Reach Rick Plumlee at 316-268-6660 or rplumlee@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rickplumlee.

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