Lynn Haag Jenkins (born June 10, 1963) is an American politician and lobbyist who served as the U.S. Representative for Kansas’s 2nd congressional district, in office from 2009 to 2019. She previously served as Kansas State Treasurer from 2003 to 2008, in the Kansas House of Representatives from 1999 to 2000 and the Kansas Senate from 2000 to 2002. She is a member of the Republican Party.
She is a founder of Maggie’s List, a political action committee designed to increase the number of conservative women elected to federal public office. Jenkins announced in January 2017 that she would not be running for re-election in 2018 and her current term in the House would be her last.
Early life, education, and early political career
Jenkins was born in Holton, Kansas, and is a sixth-generation Kansan. She was raised on a dairy farm in Holton, where she attended high school. Later she graduated from Kansas State University and Weber State College with an accounting major and an economics minor. She is a Certified Public Accountant.
Jenkins served for two years in the Kansas House of Representatives and for one term in the Kansas Senate. She was elected state treasurer in 2002, at which time she began serving in a number of organizations, including as president of the National Association of State Treasurers (NAST).
U.S. House of Representatives
On April 4, 2007, Jenkins announced that she had filed papers with the Federal Election Commission as a first step of running for the U.S. House of Representatives for Kansas’s 2nd congressional district.
Her opponent in the Republican primary was former U.S. Representative Jim Ryun, who served five terms before being defeated in 2006 by prior Democratic incumbent Nancy Boyda, who ran for reelection. In the campaign between Jenkins and Ryun, he criticized her for having voted for tax increases while a state legislator, and she criticized him for having supported earmarks. Jenkins was seen as more moderate than Ryun and received the support of the Republican Leadership Council. The primary was held on August 5, 2008. Jenkins won the Republican nomination by approximately 1,000 votes. In the general election, Jenkins went on to defeat Boyda 51%–46%.
Jenkins won re-election to a second term, defeating Democratic candidate Cheryl Hudspeth, 63%–32%.
Jenkins won re-election to a third term, defeating Democratic candidate Tobias Schlingensiepen, 57%–39%.
In June 2013, after the United States farm bill failed again, Jenkins claimed she was disappointed in House Republicans, who were divided over the issue. She blamed the failure in the House on the inability to find common ground, stating that there are still too many Democratic and Republican members who allowed politics to trump progress.
In December 2017, Jenkins voted in favor of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Jenkins says the bill will provide tax relief to middle-class Americans and create more jobs. She also claims the bill will improve the economy and therefore will “pay down our national debt,” despite the bill being anticipated to add over $1 trillion to the national debt.
“The Great White Hope”
At a town hall on August 19, 2009, Jenkins commented on President Barack Obama‘s policies, saying, “Republicans are struggling right now to find the great white hope.” Jenkins said to the crowd. “I suggest to any of you who are concerned about that, who are Republican, there are some great young Republican minds in Washington.” Jenkins then gave the names of several young, white Republicans. “The Great White Hope,” a phrase that originated in the early 1900s, was a reference to any boxer whites hoped would finally defeat the World Heavyweight Champion Jack Johnson, who was black. Jenkins later apologized, clarifying her remarks and saying that “I was explaining that there are some bright lights in the House, and I was unaware of any negative connotation. If I offended somebody, obviously I apologize.” Only one month earlier she had voted for a resolution urging President Obama to pardon black U.S. boxer Jack Johnson, which had text that explained the meaning of the phrase “The Great White Hope”. Jenkins responded by saying she had voted for the resolution without reading it first.
Before her tenure in Congress ended, Jenkins set up the lobbying firm LJ Strategies. She registered the firm in Kansas on November 20, 2018. Jenkins’ spokesperson said that Jenkins did not intend to actively seek clients until her congressional term had ended.
Jenkins was assigned to the Committee on Financial Services including the Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government-Sponsored Enterprises and the Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity. She was named to the Ways and Means Committee when the Republicans gained control of the House for the 112th Congress.
- Congressional Cement Caucus
- Congressional Prayer Caucus
- Tea Party Caucus
- Congressional Constitution Caucus
- Congressional Arts Caucus
- Congressional Western Caucus
- Climate Solutions Caucus
Jenkins has a mostly conservative voting record in Congress. According to the Washington Examiner, “Jenkins, who had originally won her 2008 primary as a moderate, proved to be a fairly reliable conservative vote once she got to Congress (91 percent lifetime ACU rating and 73 percent Heritage Action in the last Congress).” In 2013, the non-partisan National Journal gave Jenkins a score of 77% conservative and 23% liberal.
In a 2000 survey from Vote Smart, Jenkins indicated that if elected, she would support the use of the death penalty in Kansas, contracting with private sector firms to build and/or manage state prisons, and prosecuting youth accused of a felony as adults.
Energy and environment
Jenkins has a zero rating from Environment America regarding her environment-related voting record. She opposes federal regulations of greenhouse gas emissions and considers it government overreach.
Jenkins has a 93 percent rating from the National Rifle Association regarding her gun-related voting record. She supports banning the sale or transfer of semi-automatic guns except those used for hunting. She supports background checks at gun shows.
Jenkins believes cutting government spending will increase job opportunities and improve the economy.
Jenkins has a zero rating from the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda for her immigration-related voting record. Jenkins believes that by “improving” the Mexico-United States border it will be “more difficult for illegal immigrants to obtain and use false identification documents.” She supports installing technology and building additional fences along the border. In 2008, Jenkins stated that she is against amnesty for undocumented immigrants. Regarding DACA and the Dreamers, Jenkins released the following statement: “These children did not come to America on their own terms, they simply followed their parents. In the coming weeks, I look forward to working with my colleagues to create a permanent solution through the legislative process with input from Kansans in the 2nd District.”
Jenkins has frequently received a zero percent score from NARAL Pro-Choice America and a 100 percent score from the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) for her voting record on abortion-related legislation. In 2009, Jenkins received a 25% score from NARAL and, in 2010, she received a 33% score from Planned Parenthood. Also in 2009, Population Connection, which supports family planning, gave her a 100% scoring for her committee votes. Her lowest score from NRLC is an 83% and she has mostly been give a 100% score. She supports abortions only being used when pregnancy results from incest, rape or the woman’s life is threatened. She opposes partial-birth abortions and federal funding for organizations who provide abortions. She supports providing buffer zones around abortion clinics for protesters to demonstrate.
During her 2007-2008 congressional campaign, Jenkins was endorsed by and received campaign contributions from pro-choice Republican PACs The WISH List and Republican Majority for Choice. Jenkins was referred to as “pro-choice” during the campaign and “Jenkins was endorsed by WISH List, a pro-choice Republican group.” In 2014, Jenkins was endorsed by Kansans for Life PAC.
Jenkins has a “C-” rating from NORML for her voting history regarding cannabis-related causes. Jenkins supports veterans having access to medical marijuana if recommended by their Veterans Health Administration doctor and if it is legal for medicinal purposes in their state of residence. She opposes decriminalizing medical marijuana.
Jenkins opposed same-sex marriage and supported Kansas legislation to make marriage only between a man and a woman. She considered it government overreach and believed states should be able to decide for themselves. She believed Kansas should include sexual orientation in anti-discrimination laws. Jenkins voted against repealing the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy, against prohibiting funds for discrimination based on sexual orientation, and against expanding hate crime laws, but she did vote in favor of the Violence Against Women Authorization which prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation; she also voted in favor of a bill to support the Defense of Marriage Act.
After the Supreme Court allowed a lower court ruling to stand that struck down Kansas’ ban on same-sex marriage, Jenkins said that she was going to focus on other issues. “‘The Supreme Court has spoken, or not spoken in this situation'”, said Jenkins. “‘So by default the court says it’s not constitutional, so before too long, that will be a law.'”
|1998||Lynn Jenkins||Republican||5,550||63%||Fran Lee||Democratic||3,218||37%|
|2000||Lynn Jenkins||Republican||20,987||67%||Jim Clark||Democratic||10,187||33%|
|2002||Lynn Jenkins||Republican||457,407||56%||Sally Finney||Democratic||354,157||44%|
|2006||Lynn Jenkins||Republican||516,940||64%||Larry Wilson||Democratic||286,148||36%|
|Year||Republican||Party||Votes||%||Democratic||Party||Votes||%||Third Party||Party||Votes||%||Third Party||Party||Votes||%|
|2008||Lynn Jenkins||Republican||155,532||51%||Nancy Boyda||Democratic||142,013||46%||Leslie Martin||Reform||5,080||2%||Robert Garrard||Libertarian||4,683||2%|
|2010||Lynn Jenkins||Republican||130,034||63%||Cheryl Hudspeth||Democratic||66,588||32%||Robert Garrard||Libertarian||9,353||5%|
|2012||Lynn Jenkins||Republican||131,950||61%||Tobias Schlingensiepen||Democratic||76,249||35%||Dennis Hawver||Libertarian||9,823||5%|
|2014||Lynn Jenkins||Republican||128,742||57%||Marge Wakefield||Democratic||87,153||39%||Christopher Clemmons||Libertarian||9,791||4%|
|2016||Lynn Jenkins||Republican||181,228||61%||Britani Potter||Democratic||96,840||33%||James Houston Bales||Libertarian||19,333||6%|
- “2008 Unofficial Kansas Election Results”. Secretary of State. State of Kansas. August 5, 2008. Retrieved August 6, 2008.
- Klepper, David; Sullinger, Jim; Bormann, Dawn (November 4, 2008). “Jenkins unseats Boyda; Moore, Roberts re-elected”. Kansas City Star.
- “Maggie’s List. Women’s Political Action Committee. Who is Maggie’s List?”. MaggiesList.org. Archived from the original on June 20, 2015. Retrieved June 13, 2015.
- Canon, Scott. Kansas Rep. Lynn Jenkins to leave Congress after this term, won’t run for governor, Kansas City Star, January 25, 2017.
- “The Law and Lawmakers”. CanadaFreePress.com. Retrieved January 29, 2010.
- Tim Carpenter (April 4, 2007). “Treasurer plans run at Boyda in ’08”. CJOnline.com. Retrieved November 12, 2010.
- “Government & Politics News – The Kansas City Star”. primebuzz.kcstar.com. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
- “2014 Unofficial Kansas General Election Results”. November 6, 2014. Retrieved July 24, 2016.
- “KS District 02 – 2008”. Our Campaigns. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
- “KS – District 02 Race – Nov 02, 2010”. Our Campaigns. Retrieved July 24, 2016.
- “KS – District 02 Race – Nov 06, 2012”. Our Campaigns. Retrieved July 24, 2016.
- Rothschild, Scott (June 21, 2013). “Kansas representatives illustrate divide over farm bill”. Lawrence Journal-World. Retrieved July 20, 2013.
- “The Lugar Center – McCourt School Bipartisan Index” (PDF). The Lugar Center. March 7, 2016. Retrieved April 30, 2017.
- Almukhtar, Sarah (December 19, 2017). “How Each House Member Voted on the Tax Bill”. The New York Times. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- Carpenter, Tim. “Kansas delegation ready to deliver tax cuts”. The Garden City Telegram. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- Long, Heather (November 30, 2017). “Analysis: Why it’s such a big deal the Senate tax bill would add $1 trillion to debt”. Washington Post. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- Carpenter, Tim (August 27, 2009). “Jenkins’ remark raises eyebrows”. Topeka Capital-Journal (published August 26, 2009). Retrieved August 28, 2009.
- Kornreich, Lauren (August 28, 2009). “Congresswoman apologizes for ‘great white hope’ comment”. CNN. Retrieved August 28, 2009.
- Tommie Felts and Vickie Moss, “Jenkins vote may contradict ‘great white hope’ claim“, Ottawa Herald, August 28, 2009. Accessed September 16, 2009.
- Biles, Jan (August 31, 2009). “Jenkins didn’t read resolution”. Topeka Capital-Journal. Topeka, KS. Retrieved September 1, 2009.
- “Rep. Lynn Jenkins registers lobbying firm before term ends”. AP NEWS. December 7, 2018. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
- “Member List”. Republican Study Committee. Retrieved December 21, 2017.
- “Members – Republican Main Street Partnership”. Republican Main Street Partnership. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
- “Republican Main Street Partnership to Showcase Centrist Republican Solutions for 2008, January 21st, 2008 – Republican Main Street Partnership”. Republican Main Street Partnership. September 1, 2011. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
- “Members”. Congressional Constitution Caucus. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
- “Membership”. Congressional Arts Caucus. Retrieved March 13, 2018.
- “Members”. Congressional Western Caucus. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
- “90 Current Climate Solutions Caucus Members”. Citizen´s Climate Lobby. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
- “Kansas GOP Rep. Lynn Jenkins to retire after 5 terms”. The Seattle Times. January 25, 2017. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
- “Setback for Kansas Republicans as Rep. Lynn Jenkins won’t run for governor in 2018”. Washington Examiner. January 25, 2017. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
- “Lynn Jenkin’s Ratings and Endorsements”. votesmart.org. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
- “The Voter’s Self Defense System”. Vote Smart. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- “Lynn Jenkins on the Issues”. www.ontheissues.org. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
- “Congresswoman Jenkins’ Statement on DACA”. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
- “The Voter’s Self Defense System”. Vote Smart. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
- “Rep. Lynn Jenkins’ health-care campaign contributions”. Kansas City Pitch. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
- “A New Pro-Choice Congress In 2009 – Rewire”. Rewire. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
- Swenson, Scott (September 7, 2008). “Pro-Choice GOP Win in Kansas, Kline Defeat Signal End to Social Conservatism”. Huffington Post. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
- “Kansans for Life PAC Endorses All Four Kansas U.S. Representatives for Re-election | Political Action Committee”. www.voteprolife.net. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
- “Kansas Scorecard”. NORML. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
- “Lynn Jenkins’ Voting Record on Issue”. votesmart.org. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
- “Candidates say same-sex marriage is not an issue in 2nd District congressional race”. LJWorld.com. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
- “Official 1998 Kansas General Election Results”. December 1, 1998. Retrieved July 24, 2016.
- “2000 Kansas Official General Election Results”. Retrieved July 24, 2016.
- “2002 General Election Official Vote Totals” (PDF). Retrieved July 24, 2016.
- “Kansas Secretary of State – Election Statistics”. KSSOS.org. Retrieved July 24, 2016.
- “Third Judicial District Court Public Access”. ShawneeCourt.org. Archived from the original on September 11, 2012. Retrieved January 29, 2010.
- Barbara Hollingsworth, “Lynn Jenkins’ husband files for divorce,” Topeka Capital-Journal, November 10, 2008. Archived November 13, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at the Library of Congress
| Treasurer of Kansas
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kansas’s 2nd congressional district
|Party political offices|
Cathy McMorris Rodgers
| Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference
|111th||Senate: S. Brownback • P. Roberts||House: T. Tiahrt • J. Moran • D. Moore • L. Jenkins|
|112th||Senate: P. Roberts • J. Moran||House: L. Jenkins • T. Huelskamp • M. Pompeo • K. Yoder|
|113th||Senate: P. Roberts • J. Moran||House: L. Jenkins • T. Huelskamp • M. Pompeo • K. Yoder|
|114th||Senate: P. Roberts • J. Moran||House: L. Jenkins • T. Huelskamp • M. Pompeo • K. Yoder|
|115th||Senate: P. Roberts • J. Moran||House: L. Jenkins • M. Pompeo (until Jan. 2017) • K. Yoder • R. Marshall • R. Estes (from Apr. 2017)|