Flanked by family and friends, former Roeland Park Mayor Adrienne Foster on Monday formally announced her entry into the race for the Republican nomination for the Kansas 3rd Congressional District seat, expanding the field of candidates hoping to challenge first-term incumbent Rep. Sharice Davids in 2020 to three.
A crowd of about 75 gathered on the grounds of the Shawnee Indian Mission in Fairway for the event, where Foster laid out a platform of “faith, family and freedom,” values she said were instilled in her by her parents and grandparents, and that she categorized as under attack in America today.
“Politicians always say Washington is broken,” Foster told the crowd. “My friends, Washington is more than broken. Washington is a corrupt swampland that knows nothing of family, faith and freedom.”
She cited the growing federal debt, excessive college loans and “cultural rot” as among the biggest issues facing families today, and said she planned to champion term limits for members of Congress as well as a balanced budget amendment for the U.S. Constitution.
Foster and her husband Stephen are parents to five boys, ages 15 to 24. She was elected to the Roeland Park City Council in 2005 and then as mayor in 2009. She was defeated in her bid for reelection to the city’s top office in 2013, finishing third in a three-person primary.
In 2011, she was named Executive Director of the Hispanic and Latino American Affairs Commission by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. She was appointed the Small Business Administration Region 7 Advocate by President Donald Trump’s administration. In her remarks Monday, she said the Kansas 3rd Congressional District needs someone who will “fight for our president,” and said Democrats like Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, Bernie Sanders and Nancy Pelosi have been barriers to his administration.
“Representative Davids votes with them, and against our Kansas values,” Foster said.
Foster joins Mission resident Sara Hart Weir, the former CEO of the National Down Syndrome Society, and Overland Park resident Amanda Adkins, a former advisor to Brownback and an executive at Cerner, in the race to become the Republican nominee for the seat.
Contacted after Foster filed FEC paperwork last week, both Weir’s and Adkins’ campaigns declined to comment on her entry into the race.
A Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesperson said Foster’s candidacy left GOP voters with a crowded field to sort through.
“Republicans in Kansas’ 3rd district are now saddled with three bad options in what is shaping up to be a damaging race for the nomination,” said DCCC Spokesperson Brooke Goren. “In a race to the bottom where Amanda Adkins is touting Brownback, Sara Hart Weir is sticking with Trump, and Adrienne Foster is the worst of both, Kansans simply aren’t going to buy what any one of them is selling.”
Davids’ campaign responded with the same statement it issued upon Weir’s and Adkins’ announcements.
“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. Her entire focus is on serving the people of the Third District, and that’s what will get her re-elected,” said Davids’ campaign spokesperson Johanna Warshaw.
You can hear full audio of Foster’s announcement speech below: