A preliminary hearing is set for Feb. 4 as part of a case against U.S. Rep. Steve Watkins, with the Republican lawmaker alleged to have committed felony election fraud, among other crimes.


Neither Watkins nor his attorney appeared Thursday in court as the court date was scheduled. A fuller hearing was initially slated for Thursday but was later canceled, court records show.


Watkins was charged with three felony counts in July after an investigation into whether the freshman lawmaker listed a UPS Store as his voting address.


The charges followed a Capital-Journal report that Watkins voted in a hotly contested city council race — one in which it was later revealed he wouldn’t have been eligible to vote had he been registered at his physical address.


Watkins lost in the August primary election to State Treasurer Jake LaTurner, who later defeated Democrat Michelle De La Isla in the general election and will represent the 2nd Congressional District once he is sworn in come January.


Watkins has shrugged off the issue, saying it was a simple error and that the charges are politically motivated.


He pointed to the fact that LaTurner and Shawnee County District Attorney Michael Kagay share the same direct mail service, although the company is also patronized by other prominent Kansas politicians.


"This is clearly hyperpolitical," Watkins said in a July debate. "I haven’t done anything wrong."