Congressman forced to leave committee

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Topeka, Kan.

A freshman Kansas congressman facing felony criminal charges over previously listing a UPS Inc. postal box as his residence on a state voter registration form has been forced to temporarily give up his House committee assignments. Republican Rep. Steve Watkins said Friday that he is “temporarily and voluntarily” leaving the three committees on which he serves. But the House Republican conference’s rules require members facing a potential felony conviction to leave their committee posts. He also lost the backing of Kansans for Life, the state’s most influential anti-abortion group. It had endorsed him and a GOP rival, State Treasurer Jake LaTurner, and now is endorsing only LaTurner.—AP

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