Alan Keyes, a former diplomat and perennial candidate who has lost two elections and a lawsuit to Barack Obama, is coming to Wichita to campaign for congressional hopeful Jim Anderson.
Keyes is scheduled for three days of appearances on behalf of Anderson, who is seeking the Republican nomination to succeed Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard. Tiahrt is running for the Senate against Rep. Jerry Moran, R-Hays.
Keyes served as an assistant secretary of state and an ambassador to the United Nations during the Reagan administration, but is probably best known for his frequent and unsuccessful runs for the Senate and the presidency.
Keyes was the Republican candidate for Senate in Maryland in 1988 and 1992. He sought the Republican nomination for president in 1996, 2000 and 2008.
In 2004, he was the GOP's Senate nominee in Illinois, running against Obama, who won the seat. Four years later, after gaining little traction in the Republican presidential primaries and caucuses, Keyes ran in the general election on the ticket of the fledgling America's Independent Party.
Obama won the election, but Keyes filed suit claiming that the newly elected president was ineligible to serve. Keyes and other plaintiffs claimed that Obama may not have been born in Hawaii — as state records and 1961 newspaper birth announcements attest.
A U.S. District Court in California dismissed the suit Oct. 29, ruling that only Congress has the authority to remove a sitting president.
Keyes remains a popular figure among Republican primary voters, particularly those in the party's conservative base, said Bob Beatty, a professor of political science at Washburn University.
Beatty has seen him speak on a number of occasions and said, "there are very few people in American politics who can give as good a speech as Alan Keyes."
He said that should help Anderson, who is facing four other Republicans, all of whom have more money and name recognition early in the campaign.
"He (Keyes) is really a good person to have in a Republican primary, especially early on; he's so passionate and his ideas resonate with a lot of people," Beatty said. "These are the kind of things they (first-time candidates) need to do to get their name out there and get people to take a look at them."
The five-way GOP primary includes prominent businessman Wink Hartman, Republican National Committeeman Mike Pompeo, and state Sens. Jean Schodorf, R-Wichita, and Dick Kelsey, R-Goddard.
In the general election, the GOP survivor will face either state Rep. Raj Goyle, D-Wichita, or Robert Tillman, a retired court services officer.
The Anderson campaign has scheduled two public appearances with Keyes so far:
* A reception and speaking engagement beginning at 6 p.m. Nov. 21 at the Beech Activity Center, 9710 E. Central, Wichita.
* A reception and dinner starting at 6 p.m. Nov. 23 at the Larkspur Restaurant, 904 E. Douglas, Wichita.
Admission prices vary from $10 to $175. For more information, contact the Anderson campaign at 316-636-9300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.