Longshot's Campaign Has One Unusual Advantage

Ron Estes shares his name with the incumbent Kansas Republican he wants to unseat
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2018 2:13 PM CDT
Representative Ron M Estes' competition has a familiar name.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

(Newser) – What's in a name? A lot if you're an incumbent candidate running for national office, and perhaps even more if you're a challenger who happens to share the same name as that incumbent. Such is the case for Ron M. Estes, who is running in Kansas' 4th congressional district against, you guessed it, another Ron Estes—GOP Rep. Ron G. Estes to be precise. Per KMUW, the longshot candidate says he is banking not on his name, but on his fellow south-central Kansans' desire for change in the district served not long ago by current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Candidate Estes says he believes he would have chosen to run against Congressman Estes in the GOP primary even if they had different names, but onlookers might find it hard to shake the feeling the name really does help.

Candidate Estes has spent just $2,000 on his campaign and doesn't plan to spend any more, he tells Kansas.com. “We knew we couldn’t out-raise the current incumbent,so we’ve been a grass-roots campaign over social media, other things." Those "other things" aside, the challenger's track record includes 40 years at Boeing, during which he spent time on the aerospace giant's International Space Station project. He's hoping his high-level management experience will help him blaze a trail to Washington against the other Estes, the former state treasurer who took over for Pompeo. State officials recently ruled that the incumbent will be distinguished from his opponent by being listed as "Rep. Ron Estes" on the primary ballot Aug. 7.

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