Rep. Roger Marshall defeated controversial former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach on Tuesday evening to win the Republican nomination for a Senate seat vacated by longtime Senator Pat Roberts, R-KS.
The victory in the GOP primary means that Republican voters in Sunflower State followed their party’s advice by choosing the more moderate Marshall over the conservative Brand Kobach. The Republican leadership feared a Kobach win could leave the general safe Senate seat to the Democrats in the November general election.
“The Kansas Republicans knew what this primary was about, and tonight’s results prove that voters will oppose any democratic effort to buy this seat.”
Marshall not only prevailed against Kobach, but also prevailed in a crowded GOP primary field with the support of large farm, business and anti-abortion groups but without President Trump’s approval.
The FOX NEWS ANALYSIS SHOWS THE NATIONAL MAIL-IN-BALLOT PROBLEMS
Fears of many Republicans over Kobach sparked advertising campaigns that cost at least $ 15 million, with most of the spending coming from political action committees. Kobach is known nationwide for advocating restrictive immigration policies and alienating independent and moderate GOP voters for losing the Kansas governor’s race in 2018.
The race to step down from Roberts’ seat had national ramifications, even though the GOP has not lost a Kansas Senate competition since 1932.
Roberts announced his support for Marshall after the Congressman received endorsements from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Farm Bureau, the National Right to Life Committee, and Kansans for Life, the state’s most influential anti-abortion group. Marshall also had the support of 97-year-old political icon Bob Dole, former Senate Majority Leader and GOP presidential candidate from 1996.
Even with Marshall as a candidate, the GOP faces a potentially competitive race in the Senate. Democratic candidate, State Senator Barbara Bollier, raised more than $ 8 million for her campaign, a large sum in a low-cost media state like Kansas that receives donations from outside of the state. Bollier is a retired Kansas City area anethesiologist and former temperate Republican who made national headlines with a party change in late 2018.
The NRSC Young has already named Bollier as a “handpicked” candidate for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y.
“Roger Marshall is a principled Conservative who delivers and will deliver for families in Kansas, and I look forward to beating Chuck Schumer’s hand-picked candidate Barbara Bollier in November,” said Young.
CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP
For her part, Bollier said she doesn’t care which candidate she competes and slapped Republicans on her moves to abolish the Affordable Care Act during the coronavirus pandemic.
“It doesn’t matter who our opponent is in #KSSen, we know they will be a non-partisan working to provide medical care to thousands of Kansan people in the middle of a pandemic. That’s for sure,” tweeted Bollier.
Republicans are trying to maintain their 53-47 Senate majority in competitions in other states such as Arizona, Colorado, and Maine.
Paul Steinhauser of Fox News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.