Sen. Barbara Bollier a strong candidate for U.S. Senate

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Editorials

October 21, 2019 - 10:33 AM

In 2018, then-Republican Kansas state Sen. Barbara Bollier addressed a debate on gun issues in the Senate.

Moderate-leaning Kansans now have a good option for the U.S. Senate race with the filing last week of state Sen. Barbara Bollier, D-Mission Hills.

A lifelong Republican, Bollier switched parties late in 2018, one of four state lawmakers to do so. 

Bollier’s tipping point was when Senate President Susan Wagle, a Wichita Republican, stripped Bollier of her leadership role on the Public Health and Welfare Committee.

Wagle said she demoted Bollier for her support of “leftist Democrats,” including Laura Kelly in the race for governor.

Kelly’s opponent was ultra-conservative Republican Kris Kobach.

 

A FORMER physician, Bollier entered politics in 2010 when she was elected a state representative. In 2016, Bollier was elected a state senator.

Her medical background makes Bollier, age 61, uniquely positioned to advocate for better healthcare, knowing the difference insurance can make. She was a vocal opponent of former Gov. Sam Brownback’s refusal to expand Medicaid and has said his stance on denying insurance to 130,000 Kansans factored into her abdication of the Republican Party, as did his ruinous tax cut experiment and evisceration of public education.

Today Bollier serves on the governor’s task force to expand Medicaid in Kansas.

In her campaign literature, Bollier said her 30-year practice as an anesthesiologist taught her to see patients through a prism as to how she could serve them — not whether they were Republicans or Democrats — and that she continues to use that metric as an elected official.

As such, Bollier supports the rights of the LGBTQ community and has spoken out against restrictive abortion measures.

 

RIGHT OFF the bat, Bollier’s campaign received a big boost when front-runner Barry Grissom dropped out of the race Thursday and subsequently threw his support behind her. Grissom’s campaign took on incredible baggage when during his tenure as a U.S. Attorney, staff members under his direction were found guilty of unethical conduct.

Former Rep. Nancy Boyda has also dropped out of the race. Our hope is that she, too, will encourage her followers to support Bollier.

Also vying for the Democratic nomination is Usha Reddi, a former elementary teacher who serves on the Manhattan city commission.

 

REPUBLICAN frontrunners, like outgoing Sen. Pat Roberts, leave little daylight between them.

U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall is leading the pack with a campaign chest of almost $2 million. Despite recent calls for Mr. Trump’s impeachment and criticism of his decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, Rep. Marshall said he will stand by him “through thick and thin.”

Likewise, Kobach hews the line with Mr. Trump’s punitive stance on immigration and his claims of election fraud. Always more style than substance, Kobach’s campaign has raised about $250,000 during the last quarter.

Wagle’s campaign stands at $495,000 of which she loaned the campaign $275,000.

And KC businessman and former Kansas City Chiefs player Dave Lindstrom has raised about $241,000 of which he gifted himself $100,000.

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