Almanac A members-only database of searchable profiles compiled and adapted from the Almanac of American Politics

Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R)

Kansas | District 2

Leadership: House Republican Conference Vice Chairman

N/A

jenkins.house.gov

Biography

Elected: 2008, 3rd term.

Born: June 10, 1963, Topeka, KS

Home: Topeka, KS

Education: KS St. U., A.S. 1985; Weber St. U., B.S., 1985

Professional Career: C.P.A., 1984-98.

Ethnicity: White/Caucasian

Religion: Methodist

Family: divorced , 2 children

Republican Lynn Jenkins, who won her seat in 2008, won the vice chairmanship of the House Republican Conference in 2013, becoming one of three women in her party’s leadership. She derives as much, if not more, clout from her seat on the Ways and Means Committee, where she is an unfailingly conservative vote.

Jenkins was born in Topeka and grew up in the rural town of Holton on a dairy farm. After graduating from college, she worked for close to 15 years as an accountant. She was elected to the state House in 1998 and served one term there and one in the state Senate. In 2002, Jenkins was elected Kansas treasurer and four years later, even as Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius won a second term, she was reelected. She next set her sights on the 2nd District House seat. In 2006, Democrat Nancy Boyda had pulled off one of that year’s biggest upsets by unseating Republican Jim Ryun, but she was up against the district’s Republican tilt.

In the 2008 GOP primary, Jenkins faced Ryun, who had held the seat for five terms and wanted it back. Many leading Republicans saw Ryun’s loss as an anomaly that would be easily corrected in a rematch with Boyda. The contest also fell along the divide between the two long-warring wings of the state Republican party. Ryun was a staunch conservative, while Jenkins had a profile as a pro-business and pro-abortion-rights moderate. Although heavily outspent by Ryun, Jenkins eked out a win by just over 1,300 votes. Eager to quash any bitterness from the contest, Ryun heartily endorsed her.

Jenkins still faced an uphill battle in the general election. Boyda had carefully crafted a voting record mostly in line with her constituents’ views. The incumbent also sought to distance herself from her party in July 2008 by publicly renouncing the support of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. But Jenkins tied Boyda to liberal House Speaker Nancy Pelosi every chance she got and accused her of supporting tax increases by voting for Democratic budgets that phased out the Bush-era tax cuts for high income earners. The strategy paid off. Jenkins won 51%-46%, turning the come-from-behind winner in 2006 into one of the rare Democratic losers of 2008.

Jenkins had a bumpy first term. After criticizing spending earmarks during the campaign, Jenkins in 2009 submitted requests for 23 earmarked projects totaling $68 million to the Appropriations Committee. The conservative group Club for Growth removed her from its “Sworn off Earmarks” list. She responded that her pledge “only set rigorous standards for how a congressional member must go about requesting those earmarks.” She got more negative publicity at a town hall meeting in Hiawatha. Discussing possible Republican candidates’ future prospects, Jenkins said, “Republicans are struggling right now to find the great white hope.” She later apologized and said she did not realize the phrase had a negative connotation and that she was referring to GOP House leaders, not the Republican field of challengers to President Barack Obama in 2012.

Back home, some conservatives were unhappy with Jenkins’ record. State Sen. Dennis Pyle challenged her in the 2010 primary, and although he didn’t spend a lot of money, he held Jenkins to a 57%-43% win. She won the general election easily against Democrat Cheryl Hudspeth, 63% to 32%.

Although she was among the Tea Party Caucus’ initial members in 2010, Jenkins has since had second thoughts. She told a Kansas group in 2011 that members of the movement “don’t even like the term compromise. They don’t even like the term common ground. … I have always been willing to work with everyone,” according to the Lawrence Journal-World. In January 2013, she joined the “Problem Solvers” coalition of lawmakers who agreed to meet monthly to foster bipartisanship in Congress.

As a new Ways and Means member in the 112th Congress (2011-12), Jenkins was part of a Republican effort to overhaul the tax code and she introduced a bill to extend tax credits to small businesses that hire National Guard members. She also sponsored the “Kelsey Smith Act,” which would require wireless communication providers to turn over cell phone call-location data to police after a Kansas girl’s killer was identified with the help of cell phone data.

Running for reelection in 2012, Jenkins encountered few problems against Democrat Tobias Schlingensiepen, a Topeka pastor. She raised $1.9 million to his $215,000 and won with 57% of the vote to his 39%, with Libertarian Dennis Hawver getting 4%. After the election, she bested Alabama’s Martha Roby in the race for vice chair of the conference, the group of all House Republicans. Washington’s Cathy McMorris Rodgers and North Carolina’s Virginia Foxx are also in the House Republican leadership.

Office Contact Information

MAIN OFFICE

(202) 225-6601

(202) 225-7986

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1526
Washington, DC 20515-1602

MAIN OFFICE

(620) 231-5966

(620) 231-5972

LHOB- Longworth House Office Building Room 1526
Washington, DC 20515-1602

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-6601

(202) 225-7986

3550 SW Fifth Street
Topeka, KS 66606-1998

DISTRICT OFFICE

(785) 234-5966

(785) 234-5967

3550 SW Fifth Street
Topeka, KS 66606-1998

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-6601

(202) 225-7986

1001 North Broadway Street #C
Pittsburg, KS 66762-3905

DISTRICT OFFICE

(620) 231-5966

(620) 231-5972

1001 North Broadway Street #C
Pittsburg, KS 66762-3905

DISTRICT OFFICE

(202) 225-6601

(202) 225-7986

120 North Sixth Street
Independence, KS 67301

DISTRICT OFFICE

(620) 231-5966

(620) 231-5972

120 North Sixth Street
Independence, KS 67301

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

(202) 225-6601

(202) 225-7986

PO Box 1441
Topeka, KS 66601-1441

CAMPAIGN OFFICE

PO Box 1441
Topeka, KS 66601-1441

EXPORT CONTACTS » *

Staff

Sort by: Interest Name Title

Agriculture

Adam York
Legislative Assistant

adam.york@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-6601

Appropriations

Eric Schmutz
Legislative Director

Education

Morgan Said
Staff Assistant

Energy

Adam York
Legislative Assistant

adam.york@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-6601

Environment

Adam York
Legislative Assistant

adam.york@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-6601

Finance

Eric Schmutz
Legislative Director

Govt Ops

Baruch Humble
Legislative Correspondent

Gun Issues

Andrew Franke
Legislative Assistant

Lauren Hoover
Scheduler

Health

Eric Schmutz
Legislative Director

Homeland Security

Andrew Franke
Legislative Assistant

Human Rights

Morgan Said
Staff Assistant

Immigration

Andrew Franke
Legislative Assistant

Robert Spagnuolo
Congressional Aide

Judiciary

Andrew Franke
Legislative Assistant

Labor

Andrew Franke
Legislative Assistant

Baruch Humble
Legislative Correspondent

Medicare

Eric Schmutz
Legislative Director

Military

Andrew Franke
Legislative Assistant

Allen Askew
Military Aide

Native Americans

Baruch Humble
Legislative Correspondent

Public Works

Adam York
Legislative Assistant

adam.york@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-6601

Social Security

Andrew Franke
Legislative Assistant

Tax

Eric Schmutz
Legislative Director

Technology

Adam York
Legislative Assistant

adam.york@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-6601

Telecommunications

Adam York
Legislative Assistant

adam.york@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-6601

Trade

Eric Schmutz
Legislative Director

Transportation

Adam York
Legislative Assistant

adam.york@mail.house.gov
(202) 225-6601

Veterans

Andrew Franke
Legislative Assistant

Allen Askew
Military Aide

** denotes a leadership staffer

Election Results

2014 GENERAL
Lynn Jenkins
Votes: 126,627
Percent: 57.24%
Margie Wakefield
Votes: 85,076
Percent: 38.46%
2012 GENERAL
Lynn Jenkins
Votes: 167,463
Percent: 57.01%
Tobias Schlingensiepen
Votes: 113,735
Percent: 38.72%
2012 PRIMARY
Lynn Jenkins
Unopposed
2010 GENERAL
Lynn Jenkins
Votes: 130,034
Percent: 63.13%
Cheryl Hudspeth
Votes: 66,588
Percent: 32.33%
2010 PRIMARY
Lynn Jenkins
Votes: 41,458
Percent: 57.15%
Dennis Pyle
Votes: 31,085
Percent: 42.85%
2008 GENERAL
Lynn Jenkins
Votes: 155,532
Percent: 50.61%
Nancy Boyda
Votes: 142,013
Percent: 46.21%
2008 PRIMARY
Lynn Jenkins
Votes: 34,278
Percent: 50.98%
Jim Ryun
Votes: 32,966
Percent: 49.02%
Prior Winning Percentages
2010 (63%), 2008 (51%)

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