Politics & Government

Kansas Democrat in GOP-heavy district to retire from House

U.S. Rep. Dennis Moore, a Democrat who confounded the GOP by winning six consecutive elections in a heavily Republican district, will not seek re-election next year, key Democrats said Sunday.

Moore, who represented Johnson, Wyandotte and a portion of Douglas counties, will issue a statement today explaining his decision and outlining his plans. Moore, 64, is expected to finish out his term, which ends in January 2011.

He also will meet with members of his staff in his Washington office.

Moore and members of his staff could not be reached for comment Sunday night. Moore was said to be flying back to Washington in the early evening.

The news is likely to open a political gold rush of potential successors by members of both parties. The last time a 3rd District election did not feature an incumbent was in 1996, following the retirement of 12-year incumbent Republican Jan Meyers.

As of Sunday, former Kansas lawmaker Patricia Lightner and two little-known district residents, Daniel Gilyeat and John Rysavy, were the only Republicans actively campaigning.

But in recent days, other Republicans have begun to assess their chances. Among them are Nick Jordan, who was the 2008 GOP nominee;Charlotte O’Hara, who ran unsuccessfully twice against Annabeth Surbaugh for a spot on the Johnson County Commission; andGreg Musil, an Overland Park lawyer who ran for the seat in 2000.

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