Navy veteran to challenge Rep. LaTurner in Kansas

A Navy veteran on Tuesday announced his campaign to unseat freshman Rep. Jake LaTurner (R) in Kansas's 2nd Congressional District.

Patrick Schmidt, a Democrat and former U.S. Navy intelligence officer, said in a press release that he is "worried about our country and our state."

"Instead of investing in our future and rebuilding our economy, we are divided by partisan bickering. During my service on the USS Ronald Reagan, I saw firsthand the impact the United States makes in the world when we are strong and united," Schmidt said.

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In a campaign video posted on Twitter, Schmidt criticized LaTurner for supporting former Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback's (R) tax cuts and for supporting "corporations and billionaires over hardworking Kansan families like mine."

"Coming from a long line of farmers, coal miners and teachers, I've seen the daily struggles Kansas families face when an unexpected illness or injury shocks the family budget," Schmidt said, speaking of how his father's illness "nearly bankrupted our family."

Schmidt recently completed his active duty commitments as a Navy intelligence officer and remains in the Navy Reserves.

"My Kansas roots and values served me well in the Navy. It was an honor to defend this great nation so that we may continue to be a beacon of freedom for the world," he added.

LaTurner, a former state senator who was appointed treasurer in 2017, was elected to represent the Topeka-area district last year with more than 55 percent of the vote.