GOP picks Rep. Marshall over Kobach

Crowded primary shows power of GOP establishment, who hope to keep Senate seat in Republican hands.

By

State News

August 5, 2020 - 10:38 AM

Rep. Roger Marshall, left, tours the milk barn at Strickler Dairy in Iola on July 10 with Harry Clubine, farm manager. Marshall is campaigning for a U.S. Senate seat. Register file photo

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Republicans on Tuesday nominated Rep. Roger Marshall for the Senate over polarizing conservative Kris Kobach, heeding the party establishment’s advice as it tries to keep a normally safe seat out of play in what could be a difficult year for the GOP.

Marshall prevailed comfortably in a crowded primary field with the backing of major farm, business and anti-abortion groups but without a pre-election endorsement from President Donald Trump sought by Senate Majority Mitch McConnell and others for the two-term congressman for western and central Kansas. Marshall overcame Kobach’s reputation as a conservative firebrand and informal adviser to Trump.

Marshall will face Democratic state Sen. Barbara Bollier, a former lifelong moderate Republican who received national attention at the end of 2018 by switching parties. GOP leaders have worried for months about Bollier’s ability so far to raise more in contributions than the top GOP candidates combined. 

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