Kansas candidates seeking Senate seat raise, spend millions

Your Local Election HQ

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Kansans running for political office are spending time, energy and money trying to capture your attention leading up to the primary election on August 4.

All eyes are on Kansas in the race for the US Senate seat vacated by Pat Roberts.

Lots of money is being raised and spent on this race, including Kansas City doctor Barbara Bollier’s campaign setting a second-quarter fundraising record in the state of Kansas.

Bollier’s campaign has more cash on hand than all her four Republican opponents combined according to FEC data. She raised $3.7 million in just one fundraising quarter or 3 months. That is the most raised by any candidate in a single quarter in Kansas history. 

Congressman Dr. Roger Marshall, former Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach, Kansas City plumber Bob Hamilton and former Kansas City Chiefs defensive end Dave Lindstrom are all vying for the seat, spending money on ads that tout themselves as the true hard-liner conservative.

Chart by KSN producer Sam Holzschuh with data provided by FEC.gov

A series of ads attack past transgressions of other candidates.

An ad paid for by Kansans for Marshall condemns Kobach’s past as chairman of the Kansas Republican Party, where Kobach is said to have created financial issues.

An ad paid for by Hamilton’s team harps on Marshall’s erased reckless driving conviction in 2008.

A Marshall-approved ad claims Bob Hamilton hired an illegal immigrant to his Kansas City plumbing business.

Bollier’s opponent, Robert Tillman, is not actively campaigning, so her ads focus on introducing herself as a medical professional and centrist. She switched parties from Republican to Democrat in 2018.

‘We all have an obligation to not just listen to an ad on television but to investigate candidates , get educated about who we want to vote for. At the end of the day that’s the answer to all of the money in politics, is educate yourself,” Dr. Jeffrey Jarman, KSN political analyst said.

A recently-formed PAC ad seems to bolster a Kobach/Bollier general election.

“We know, not just in Kansas but across the country, political action committees fight not just for their favorite candidate, but also for their favorite match-ups,” Jarman said.

President Trump has yet to endorse any of the candidates in this race, though he’s featured in many of their advertisements.

KSNT political analyst Dr. Bob Beatty thinks national GOP dollars will be flooding Kansas following the crowded primary.

“The national Republicans are going to go crazy trying to keep this seat,” Beatty told our sister station, KSNT.

The primary election is August 4.

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