Huelskamp being considered for Trump's agriculture secretary

Published: Nov. 17, 2016 at 9:42 AM CST
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Cobb, a member of Trump's transitional team, says Rep. Tim Huelskamp is being considered as a choice for secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Cobb made the announcement during a visit at Wichita State University Thursday.

Cobb said Huelskamp is a good choice for the position and has a lot of experience in the area of agriculture. He did not provide a timeline on when Trump would select a secretary.

The Topeka Capital-Journal

the Republican congressman told The Daily Caller he has sent his résumé to Trump's team, which he said reached out to him this week.

Huelskamp said "many, many people" have spoken to him about the position.

"People who are in the room have been talking to me," Huelskamp told Agri-Pulse, an agricultural policy publication. "If you're looking to be an outsider, I would be quite a pick to fit that."

Huelskamp has represented the rural 1st District of central and western Kansas since 2011. Challenger Roger Marshall defeated him in the Republican primary in August and will succeed him in January.

Huelskamp was removed from the House Agriculture Committee in 2012 and some said he caused friction with some leaders in Congress.

That has several farming groups in Kansas hopeful Trump will pick someone else. Like the Kansas Farm Bureau which previously endorsed Huelskamp but turned it's back on him in the most recent election in favor of Congressman-elect Dr. Roger Marshall.

"If he has successfully repaired some of the relationships with speaker Paul Ryan, House Ag Committee Chairman Mike Conaway from Texas, the former chairman of the House Ag Committee Frank Lucas from Oklahoma, if he can continue to build relationships and further the cause that I think has been damaged in years past, I think he would be, he would definitely be able to carry out the wishes of the president," Ryan Flickner, Senior Director of Public Policy for the Kansas Farm Bureau said.

But Flickner said if that doesn't happen, the group won't change it's mind on Huelskamp.

"If he still has some tenuous relationships with those members of Congress I think it would be more difficult for that type of individual to serve as a cabinet level secretary," he said.

The Kansas Livestock Association CEO said when it comes to finding someone to fill the Secretary of Agriculture seat, it all comes down to the farmers.

"We are interested in an individual that understands agriculture, understands the business of agriculture and specifically livestock producers and recognizes that many times the best way for government to support agriculture is just to stay out of the way," CEO Matt Teagarden said.

Teagarden seemed even less enthusiastic than Flickner on Huelskamp's performance for Kansas.

"We wouldn't see it any different today than we did as we started considering the First District Congressional race and that is that Congressman Huelskamp has not shown the ability to work well with his colleagues, to work in a collaborative way and we don't see that changing if he were to move to a different branch of the federal government. So we think there would be better options that we hope will get consideration," Teagarden said.