Rep. Roger Marshall won the Republican nomination for the Senate seat being vacated by longtime Sen. Pat Roberts, R-KS, after defeating controversial former Kansas Secretary of State Krrish Kobach on Tuesday evening.
A victory in the GOP primary meant Republican voters in Sunflower State took his party’s advice into account by electing a more liberal marshal over conservative firebrand Kobach. The Republican leadership was concerned that a Kobach victory might eventually flip the Senate seat usually reserved for Democrats in the general election.
“Kansas Republicans knew what was at stake in this primary, and tonight’s results prove that voters will reject any attempt by Democrats to buy this seat,” National Republican Sanatorial Committee (NRSC) President Sen. Todd Young, R- Ind., Said in a statement. “I am more confident than ever that Kansas will remain part of the Republican Senate Majority.”
In addition to besting Kobach, Marshall prevailed. In a crowded GOP primary area with the support of major farm, trade and anti-abortion groups but without the support of President Trump.
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Many Republicans are apprehensive about Kobach spending at least $ 15 million in an advertising campaign, with the majority of that being spent by political action committees. Kobach is known for advocating restrictive immigration policies at the national level and ousted independent and liberal GOP voters in 2018 for losing the Kansas governor’s race.
The race to retire from Roberts’ seat had national implications, even though the GOP had not lost a Senate contest in Kansas since 1932.
Roberts announced his support for Marshall when Congress drew support from the US Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Farm Bureau, the National Right to Life Committee, and the Consons for Life, the state’s most influential anti-abortion group. Marshall also had the support of 97-year-old political icon Bob Dole, the former US Senate majority leader and 1996 GOP presidential nominee.
Even with Marshall as the nominee, the GOP faces a potentially competitive Senate race. The Democratic nominee, state Sen. Barbara Bollier, has raised more than $ 8 million for her campaign, a large amount in a low-cost media state like Kansas, with donations flooding in from outside the state. Bollier is a retired Kansas City-area anesthesiologist and former liberal Republican who made national headlines at the end of 2018 by changing parties.
Young of the NRSC has already portrayed Bollier as “hand-picked” candidate of Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y.
“Roger Marshall is a majestic conservative who distributes, and wills, to Kansas families, and I look forward to him defeating Chuck Schumer’s hands-picked candidate Barbara Bollier this November,” Young said.
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For her part, Bollier said she doesn’t care which candidate she’s going against and slammed the Republic to get away with you with the Affordable Care Act during the coronovirus epidemic.
Boller tweeted, “It doesn’t matter who our opponent is in #KSSen, we know they are working to get healthcare from thousands of cons in the midst of an epidemic.”
Republicans are trying to hold their 53-47 Senate majority with competitive races in other states, including Arizona, Colorado and Maine.
Fox News’ Paul Steinhauser and The Associated Press contributed to this report.