Politics & Government

Former Kansas congressional candidate James Thompson diagnosed with cancer

A former congressional candidate from Wichita has announced that he likely won’t run for elected office again after being diagnosed with cancer.

“Unfortunately, it is unlikely that I will ever have the opportunity to run for office again,” James Thompson, a civil rights attorney, said Sunday in a Facebook post. “I just found out, I have a rare cancer called a carcinoid tumor with accompanying carcinoid syndrome. The tumor metastasized into multiple lesions/tumors on my liver, which means I am in the later stages.”

Thompson, a Democrat, lost to Republican Ron Estes in 2017 and 2018 elections for Kansas’s 4th Congressional District. The Eagle has previously reported that he was considering a campaign to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts in 2020.

After the 2018 election, Thompson announced he would serve as director of the New American Majority Action Fund, which is focused on boosting voter turnout among people of color, single women and young people in conservative states. He is also chairman of Kansas Democrats’ 4th Congressional District.

“I am very sorry to hear this news,” said Vicki Hiatt, chairwoman of the Kansas Democractic Party, in a statement. “I know James to be a fighter and he will give his all to step up to this new challenge. I speak for all the members of the KDP family in wishing James and his loved ones the strength to fight through this. May good health be upon you soon, James.”

Thompson said he plans to continue as the political party’s chairman of the congressional district and practice law “to the extent I am able, although I can no longer take on the stress of civil rights litigation.” He has previously sued the Wichita Police Department in officer-involved shootings.

“The good news is this is a ‘slow moving’ cancer that I have probably had for many years and will probably be able to live for at least a few more,” Thompson said in the post. “We are fortunate that Obamacare allowed us to have insurance. Hopefully, it continues.

“For those of you who know me personally, you know that I am a stubborn SOB. I have a 14 year old daughter who I plan to see graduate high school, and the lord willing, walk down the aisle. I also have a 19 month old daughter and I want her to remember me as her father and our good times and laughter. I fought for my country, I fought for you, and you can sure as hell bet I will fight to live.”