Nancy Boyda (born August 2, 1955) is a former Democratic congresswoman representing Kansas’s 2nd congressional district. On November 4, 2008, Boyda was defeated for re-election by Kansas State Treasurer Lynn Jenkins, after serving one term. Following her term in Congress, Boyda was named by President Barack Obama as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Personnel at The Pentagon, and was sworn into the position on July 20, 2009.
Early life, education, and career
Boyda graduated with honors from William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri, where she received dual degrees in chemistry and education. She began her career in 1978 working as an analytical chemist and field inspector. Boyda grew up in a Republican family, but became a Democrat in 2003.
U.S. House of Representatives
In 2004 she ran against Republican incumbent U.S. Congressman Jim Ryun in Kansas’ Second District. Boyda criticized Ryun’s support for school vouchers and his lack of support for public schools. She said she had left the Republican Party because it had become too conservative. Ryun criticized her for taking part in protests against the Iraq War. Boyda spent $1.1 million on her campaign, $300,000 of it her own money. Ryun spent $1.2 million. George W. Bush carried the district 59%-39% and Ryun defeated Boyda 56%-41%. She only won a single county: Crawford.
Boyda challenged Ryun again in 2006. The district was low on both national parties’ political radars. Boyda was helped by good performance by the re-election bid of incumbent Democratic Governor of Kansas Kathleen Sebelius, winning 57% to 40%. Ryun was a strongly conservative Republican and the Republican Party of Kansas had been rife with infighting between conservatives and moderates; moderate Republicans seem to have defected to both Sebelius and Boyda. There was also the issue of Ryun’s purchase of a Washington, D.C. townhouse from Tom DeLay associates at a price well below market value. She defeated Ryun by 51% to 47%.
In January 2007, National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Cole announced that the NRCC intended to target Boyda in 2008. Ryun announced that he would try to get his old seat back, and Republican leaders reportedly assured him that he would win. On April 4, 2007, State Treasurer Lynn Jenkins officially announced she would run in the Republican primary. She defeated State Senator Dennis Pyle in the primary.
Boyda and Jenkins were opposed in the general election by Libertarian Party candidate and Reform Party candidate Leslie Martin. Boyda announced she would not seek assistance from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for her 2008 campaign. Jenkins won 51%-46%.
110th United States Congress, Boyda, as a freshman, introduced a bill, H.R. 476, to deny pensions to members of Congress convicted of bribery, conspiracy or perjury charges. The Bill passed in the House of Representatives on January 23, 2007, by a vote of 431-0. Boyda also applied to join the conservative Democrat House caucus, the Blue Dogs. She was unable to join as adding her would have put the blue dogs over their membership limit of 47.
On May 10, 2007, Boyda voted against H.R. 2237, a measure, “to provide for the redeployment of United States Armed Forces and defense contractors from Iraq.” However, she continues to support gradual troop withdrawal while funding troops until they return.
- Environmental record
- Armed Services Committee hearing in July 2007
Congresswoman Boyda made news on July 27, 2007 by leaving a Congressional hearing while a retired Army general testified about US progress in Iraq. Retired Army General Jack Keane had testified that since the troop surge began, U.S. forces “are on the offensive and we have the momentum.” He also said security has improved in every neighborhood and district in and around Baghdad, and that “cafes, pool halls, coffee houses that I visited are full of people”. Boyda said she left the House Armed Services Committee hearing during the testimony of General Keane because “there was only so much that you could take,” and continued to say she felt Keane’s picture of the situation in Iraq was inappropriately “rosy.”
Her Chief of Staff Shanan Guinn said, “She was frustrated with how the administration is handling the war, that no one wants to have a real conversation about ways to move forward and our brave men and women overseas are being played like a political ping pong ball.”
Boyda later told the Manhattan (Kan.) Mercury, that she did not “walk out” of the meeting. Instead, she “stepped into a little room” adjacent to the meeting for five minutes, then returned. She hoped to draw a distinction between politely excusing herself and storming out of the room.
- Armed Services Committee
- Subcommittee on Military Personnel
- Subcommittee on Readiness
- Agriculture Committee
- Subcommittee on Conservation, Credit, Energy and Research
- Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, Nutrition and Forestry
- Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management
- Klepper, David; Sullinger, Jim; Bormann, Dawn (November 4, 2008). “Jenkins unseats Boyda; Moore, Roberts re-elected”. Kansas City Star.
- WIBW News headline wibw.com Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine.
- Office of the Clerk
- Boyda Campaign Site
- Hananel, Sam. “Boyda defends decision to leave Iraq hearing”. The Associated Press. The Topeka Capital-Journal. July 31, 2007.
- “A look into growth-related needs”. The Manhattan Mercury. September 27, 2007. Archived at Wayback Machine.
- Nancy Boyda for Congress, Campaign site
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Profile at SourceWatch
- Appearances on C-SPAN
|U.S. House of Representatives|
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kansas’s 2nd congressional district
|110th||Senate: S. Brownback • P. Roberts||House: T. Tiahrt • J. Moran • D. Moore • N. Boyda|