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3 GOP candidates hope to oust Rep. Sharice Davids in the Kansas 3rd District. Here's who is running

Sharice Davids smiling at a podium while supporters celebrate her win
Carlos Moreno
KCUR 89.3
U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids is greeted by supporters at her election party in 2022.

A diverse — and growing — pool of Republican candidates hope to unseat Davids. Davids has won her seat with an increasing margin since 2018, even when the district was redrawn to be more Republican last year.

Three Republican hopefuls are seeking the nomination to face Democratic Rep. Sharice Davids in the 2024 election. Davids first ousted Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder in 2018 in Kansas’ 3rd Congressional district — which includes Johnson, Anderson, Franklin and Miami counties and southern Wyandotte County — and has won by increasing margins in each race since.

That includes winning by more than 12 points last year, after district lines were redrawn in a way that should have benefited Republicans. Mohona Chowdhury, the representative's campaign manager, says she’s confident Davids will continue to represent the district.

“She's going to stay focused on doing her job to provide some real solutions to problems that people have and she's going to continue working across the aisle and standing up to her own party if she needs to for whatever's the best for the 3rd District,” Chowdhury said. “She has a record of providing for the third, and that's something that the GOP candidates don't have.”

Chowdhury said Davids will challenge her GOP opponents on “Brownback economics,” and their abortion positions — including how they voted on the abortion amendment last year, which nearly 70% of the district rejected in favor of keeping reproductive rights.

“All of them, in some ways, have shown that they are not going to stand by reproductive rights and freedoms as Rep. Davids will,” Chowdhury said. “Davids has proven that she is a fighter and she will make sure that everyone in the (3rd District) is represented and their rights and freedoms are also protected while the GOP primary is going to be just a race to the right.”

Here’s a rundown of the three GOP candidates vying to unseat Davids in her third reelection bid.

 A three-frame collage features each candidate.
Savannah Hawley-Bates
KCUR 89.3
(L-R) Prasanth Reddy, Karen Crnkovich and Jonathon Westbrook are all running to unseat Rep. Sharice Davids, a seat she's won by an increasing margin since 2018.

Karen Crnkovich lives in Johnson County and owns an HVAC and plumbing business and founded Strong Homes, Strong Families, a nonprofit that gives critical home repairs to those in need. She is the president of the Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri, and volunteers with a number of metro nonprofits.  

Crnkovich’s priorities include fiscal conservatism, reforming legal immigration, supporting alternative energies as well as natural gas, and a “pro-life, pro-compassion” approach to abortion restrictions that includes exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother.

Her top priority is support for small businesses, which she says affects a significant amount of people in the 3rd District and the U.S. About 46% of the private sector workforce in the U.S. is employed by a small business.

“I am running because I, as a small business owner, believe we need more small business people representing us in Congress to help their colleagues understand how regulations affect small businesses,” Crnkovich said. “I care very compassionately about our community, both through my volunteer service and in the company that I run that serves our community. I want to earn the votes of district three. I don't want to buy them.”

Prasanth Reddy is a Johnson County oncologist, executive at Labcorp in enterprise oncology and military officer. He immigrated to the U.S. from Chennai, India, as a child and has spent most of his life in Kansas.

His priorities include ending illegal immigration, fighting the fentanyl crisis, supporting police, reversing inflation and giving parents a role in public education.

In a campaign statement, Reddy said he decided to run to stop “extremist views” from becoming the norm.

“Right now, our country is at a breaking point, and there’s no time to sit on the sidelines,” Reddy said in the statement. “Our current congresswoman has been in D.C. for years and has nothing to show for it. She’s gone along to get along with the most extreme elements of her party, and we are suffering for it.”

Jonathon Westbrook is the treasurer of the Kansas Black Republican Council and was a White House Fellow under former President Donald Trump. He was a former Kansas City, Kansas, police officer and served as the youth mentor program coordinator for the department’s OK Program, a national mentoring program that aims to empower Black men and boys.

Former Kansas Governor Sam Brownback appointed Westbrook to the Kansas Human Rights Commission and the Kansas African American Affairs Commission, which he is still on.

He is currently an adjunct instructor at Donnelly College, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in 2013.

Westbrook has not publicly announced that he is running for Congress but is registered with the Federal Election Commission under the Westbrook for Kansas committee.

When news breaks, it can be easy to rely on officials and people in power to get information fast. As KCUR’s general assignment and breaking news reporter, I want to bring you the human faces of the day’s biggest stories. Whether it’s a local shop owner or a worker on the picket line, I want to give you the stories of the real people who are driving change in the Kansas City area. Email me at savannahhawley@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @savannahhawley.
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