Kansas Tea Party Congressman Loses Republican Primary Battle

HUTCHINSON, Kan. (AP) -

Rep. Tim Huelskamp has been a thorn in the side of the Republican establishment since his election to Congress amid the tea party wave of 2010, and his clashes with former House Speaker John Boehner and other GOP leaders helped get him booted from the House Agriculture Committee.

That proved costly for the third-term congressman on Tuesday, as he lost the GOP nomination to continue representing Kansas’ largely rural 1st District to Roger Marshall, a political newcomer who had the backing of powerful farming and business groups.

The contest was unusual because GOP primary challengers usually accuse incumbents of being insufficiently conservative. Marshall, a physician from Great Bend, cast himself as a conservative willing to reach across the aisle, saying after his win that he wasn’t sure the House Freedom Caucus would even have him. He will be the heavy favorite in November, when he’ll square off against only an independent challenger — the Democrats aren’t fielding a candidate.