While two Republican candidates are currently involved in a bitter primary campaign where millions of dollars are being spent, a North Central Kansas educator, farmer and Army veteran is on a mission to prove that it doesn’t take big money or mud-slinging to make it to Washington.
Alan LaPolice plans to run as an independent candidate in the 1st Congressional District of Kansas.
Incumbent Tim Huelskamp and challenger Roger Marshall are currently involved in a heated Republican Primary, which will conclude on Tuesday in the primary election. LaPolice previously ran against Huelskamp as a Republican, receiving 45 percent of the vote in the Republican primary in 2014.
LaPolice, who was in Salina Wednesday afternoon, has been traveling the district, gathering signatures. He tells KSAL News that 5,000 signatures are needed for him to be on the ballot in the general election. He has gathered between around 9,000 signatures, and is in the process of validating them himself. He plans on turning them into the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office in a couple of days, once he is sure he has enough signatures. He says “interestingly enough, all candidates need the 5,000 signatures, or in lieu of that then can buy access to the ballot by paying a $1,700 filing fee.” LaPolice says that last time he paid the fee, but this time he instead chose to hit the road. “I’m actually going to the voters, meeting people, and talking to them one-on-one.”
LaPolice says that he has not received any negative feedback when he tells people he is an independent, but rather just the opposite. “Nearly every single person I have talked to has been excited about this independent bid,” he says.
LaPolice says he plans to spend more money than he did in his last campaign, but it will still be fraction of what his opponent will spend. Last time he did not even have a single paid staff member. With just a team of family members and volunteers helping him, and a consultant who came on board at the very end, he still managed to get 45 percent of the vote.
LaPolice vowed to run a “clean campaign with a positive message”, as opposed to what is happening now. All of the current negativity is disenfranchising voters, pushing them away from the process, he said.
LaPolice also said he’s never been truly welcomed into the Kansas Republican Party, calling himself an “independent with Republican values.”
As an independent, he says that it will be much easier to work with both parties to get things accomplished, something that is nearly impossible for Republicans and Democrats to do right now given the current political climate.