Wednesday was full of news on the political front, as several Kansans aim for the soon-to-be vacant United States Senate seat currently held by Pat Roberts, who has announced he will retire at the end of his term which is up for election next year. We reported yesterday on democrat Usha Reddi’s entry into the race. It now looks like there could be another republican adding his name to the list of candidates, as one leaves the race to run for a different office.
In an e-mail Wednesday morning, Kansas First District Congressman Roger Marshall says he’ll have a major announcement on Saturday at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson. Currently in his second term in the House, Marshall has taken a key position for much of his constituency by gaining a spot on the House Ag Committee.
Republican State Treasurer Jake LaTurner, who had declared his candidacy for the Senate has withdrawn from that race and will instead pursue the seat representing the Second Congressional District in the House of Representatives. The move raises some eyebrows as LaTurner will now mount a primary challenge against incumbent Republican Congressman Steve Watkins, who won election in 2018 by less than one percent. LaTurner has already received the endorsement of several heavy hitting Kansas republicans, including former Governor Jeff Colyer.
If Marshall does in fact declare for the race for Senate, he’ll join four other Republicans to have announced a run; Conservative commentator Bryan Pruitt, former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle and former Kansas City Chiefs player Dave Lindstrom.
Democrats to declare are Reddi, former US Attorney Barry Grissom, former congresswoman Nancy Boyda and court services officer Robert Tillman.
The seat is of particular importance to the Agribusiness interests in Kansas. The outgoing 4-term Senator Roberts is the chair of the Senate Ag Committee.