Huckabee backs Kelsey in Kan. House race

Former Arkansas governor and 2008 presidential contender Mike Huckabee (R) threw his political weight behind Kansas state Sen. Dick Kelsey (R) and his bid for Rep. Todd Tiahrt's (R-Kan.) House seat. Tiahrt is running for the Senate.

"Sen. Kelsey was elected to the Kansas House of Representatives in 2004 and then elected to the Kansas State Senate in 2008," Huckabee said in a statement. "After his first term, he was elected Majority Caucus Chairman by his peers. I share in that confidence of his peers; Senator Kelsey has shown his leadership skills and has stood consistently by his Kansas values, our shared values, values that are in short supply in Congress these days."

As we reported last month, was the first candidate to declare his candidacy for Tiahrt's seat but party insiders expect several more Republicans to jump in the race. And, the sources said, those Republicans may be more connected in the state than Kelsey. It'll be interesting to see if and how Huckabee's endorsement makes an early impact on the field.

jeremy.jacobs@thehill.com