Even though the race to replace Jerry Moran is the most interesting right now, the fourth district is shaping up to be an equally worthy competitor. Only two candidates have officially declared so far, but more are certain to join in. There's one potential candidate that I like but to understand why, I'll share my thoughts on the Democrat side first.
(A little disclaimer here, I don't pretend to know anything about internal Democratic politics or why they do what they do.)
Unlike in the first district, there are several potential picks for Democrats in the fourth. State Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau is certainly a potential candidate. I think overall she'd be strong, but she's only just been elected to the Kansas Senate and I don't know of anything in particular that she's done policy wise in her previous job in the House that she could tell the voters about. So if she would become a candidate, I doubt she'd go very far.
Bob Knight is always a possibility. Yea, he's a registered Republican, but when has that ever stopped anyone before? I doubt Knight would be the Democrats first choice though, as he's been rejected by the voters just one too many times.
Jim Ward hasn't publicly said he's not interested, so that pretty much means he's interested. If I was a Democrat he'd be somewhere in the middle of my list. I don't know of anything he's done either. From my perspective, I hope he gets into the mix because I don't think he'd win the primary, and I certainly wouldn't expect him to be able to win in a general election, so that might make his House seat competitive if Republicans could find a candidate.
Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer might be a possibility. I don't know how strong he would be against an R, but he's certainly shown himself capable of getting elected in the state's largest city, so I wouldn't count him out. And he'd be able to run without loosing his current position, so that'd be a plus.
I'm sure there are more possibilities out there, but those are the ones I can think up off the top of my head. But none of those would get my vote if I wanted a Democrat to win. That award goes to Raj Goyle.
Again, I don't pretend to know what's best for the Democratic Party, but if I wanted to win I'd nominate Raj Goyle. He's quite talented at raising money from ACLU lawyers on the east coast, which is always handy when trying to win an election. He's very well spoken (a lawyer after all) and articulates his positions, or lack thereof, well. He'd be at a disadvantage in a general because whoever is the R is going to have the resources to point out his ACLU ties. But I certainly wouldn't count him out. I think he'd be a strong candidate for the other side.
Now, based on my pick for the Dems, I'll share my pick for the good guys later.