WICHITA, Kan. – – Democrats and Libertarians are now throwing their name in the hat for the chance to fill the open 4th Congressional District seat.
That seat was vacated in January after Congressmen Mike Pompeo resigned from the seat.
Pompeo was tabbed by President Trump to be the next CIA Director.
The Democratic Party held a convention to pick their candidate at the Sedgwick County Courthouse.
Five candidates, including Laura Lombard, Charlie Walker, Ronald Tillman, Dennis McKinney and James Thompson were all nominated.
After two rounds of voting, Thompson secured a majority of the votes from the 39 delegates to earn the nod as the Democratic candidate.
“It is really amazing to feel the energy in the room from Democrats and Independents and Republicans that were all here,” said Thompson.
Now, Thompson says he’s turning his attention toward the campaign.
“We have 59 days to get out and talk to everybody in Kansas and make sure they understand that we are protecting their rights, we’re protecting the constitution,” said Thompson.
Just across town, the Libertarian Party held their convention as well.
Three candidates, including Gordon Bakken, John Kostner and Chris Rockhold spoke to the crowd of about 20 people, stating their case of why they should be chosen.
In the end, Rockhold secured 17 of the 20 votes to win the nomination.
Rockhold admits it will be a difficult campaign to run in such a short amount of time.
“We’re fighing against a two-party system that has a lot of recognition and a lot of support, both monetarily and recognition in longevity,” said Rockhold.
In a state that traditionally runs deeply red, both candidates feel they have a real chance to ultimately fill the open seat.
“It’s not so much the party, but it’s the issues and people really care about the issues, I think we’ll resonant with a lot of voters, so I think we have just as much of a chance as anyone else,” said Rockhold.
“We’ve got more than a legitimate shot, I think people here are tired of such extreme right Brownback policies,” added Thompson.
The Republican nominee is Ron Estes, the current State Treasurer for Kansas.
Estes notched 66 of the 126 votes in the convention to nominate a Republican at Friends University on Thursday.
There is one party who has yet to choose a candidate for the upcoming special election.
Those wanting to run as an Independent still have a week to turn in a petition with the necessary amount of signatures to run.
The deadline for that is Saturday, February 18th.