Ex-GOP lawmaker files for Senate seat as a Democrat


State News

October 17, 2019 - 10:24 AM

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — One of four Kansas legislators who made headlines last year by defecting from the Republican Party is running for the U.S. Senate as a “pragmatic” Democrat, entering a race in which some GOP leaders are worried about immigration hardliner Kris Kobach ‘s chances should he win their party’s nomination.

State Sen. Barbara Bollier, a retired suburban Kansas City anesthesiologist, launched her bid Wednesday, a day after campaign finance reports showed that Kobach is well behind a GOP rival, U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall, in fundraising. Marshall, who represents western Kansas in Congress, raised twice as much in contributions as Kobach from July 1 through Sept. 30 and ended the period with nearly $1.9 million in cash, compared to about $198,000 for Kobach.

Kobach, the former Kansas secretary of state, lost last year’s governor’s race to Democrat Laura Kelly, and some Republicans have complained that his fundraising was lackluster. His take-no-prisoners style of conservatism also alienated many GOP moderates, and Democrats see his nomination as their best chance to win their first Senate race in Kansas since 1932.

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