Western Kansas congressman opens Senate bid

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September 9, 2019 - 9:45 AM

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Western Kansas’ congressman launched a Senate campaign on Saturday, pitching himself to fellow Republicans as a pragmatic conservative who can keep the seat in GOP hands by thwarting immigration hardliner Kris Kobach’s bid for the party’s nomination.

Two-term Rep. Roger Marshall entered the race facing some skepticism from the right despite his anti-abortion and gun-rights views and a consistent record of voting with President Donald Trump. Marshall ended June with $1.4 million in campaign funds, giving him a jump on fundraising.

Marshall kicked off his campaign at the state fair, making the announcement at a podium festooned with state’s ubiquitous sunflowers. In an AP interview beforehand, he stressed his rural ties and portrayed himself as part of a line of western Kansas congressmen who later served in the Senate, including former Senate Majority Leader and Kansas political icon Bob Dole.

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