Amanda Adkins, an Overland Park resident, business executive with Cerner and former adviser to Sam Brownback, today officially announced she was entering the race for the Kansas Third Congressional District seat next year.
Adkins’ entry into the race sets up a contested Republican primary. Former non-profit executive Sara Hart Weir of Mission announced she would seek the seat in late July. The two will be vying to challenge first-term incumbent Democrat Sharice Davids, who defeated Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder in 2018.
Adkins had been expected to formally enter the race after filing paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission creating an election committee several days ago.
In her announcement, Adkins highlighted her experiences as a parent and businessperson as well as her long history in the state.
“The dysfunction in Congress has put our Kansas way of life in jeopardy,” said Adkins. “I’m the only businesswomen, mother and long-term Kansan in this race who understands the unique needs of our district and has a proven record of success in empowering the people of our district.”
Asked for comment on Adkins’ entry into the race, Weir’s campaign said Weir was the only Republican running who represented a new voice.
“Kansans are ready to turn the page and Sara Hart Weir remains the only candidate committed to leading differently and representing a new generation of conservative outsiders ready to fix Washington,” said Jared Suhn, Weir’s campaign spokesman.
Davids’ campaign repeated the comments it made upon Weir’s campaign announcement, saying the representative’s focus on issues would get her re-elected.
“Representative Davids is fighting every day for the things that matter most to Kansans, like lowering the cost of health care and prescription drugs, protecting people with pre-existing conditions, and ensuring every child has access to a quality public education,” said Davids’ campaign spokesperson Johanna Warshaw in a statement. “Her entire focus is on serving the people of the Third District, and that’s what will get her re-elected.”
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was more pointed, saying Adkins’ association with Brownback would be a liability.
“As one of Brownback’s chief advisors, Amanda Adkins helped execute the Brownback agenda in Kansas, which working families are still paying for to this day,” said DCCC spokesperson Brooke Goren. “Adkins paved the way for disastrous cuts to public schools, health care services, and early childhood programs in the state.”
Adkins graduated from the University of Kansas in 1998 before moving into politics. She worked as a legislative aide in the U.S. Senate for two years before becoming the director of GOPAC, Inc, a Republican political action committee. She served as manager for then-Sen. Sam Brownback’s reelection campaign in 2004.
She’s worked for Cerner Corporation in a variety of roles since 2004, and has served on the boards of a number of organizations. She was chair of the Kansas Republican Party from 2009 to 2013. During Brownback’s tenure as governor, she was the appointed chair of the Kansas Children’s Cabinet and Trust Fund.
Adkins and her husband Jason have lived in Overland Park for 17 years. They have two children, ages 14 and 13.