Roger Marshall wins U.S. Senate race
WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - (Update 10 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020): Republican Rep. Roger Marshall has won an open Senate seat in Kansas in a tougher-than-expected race that saw his Democratic opponent far outraise him, financially.
Marshall is an obstetrician who has represented Western and Central Kansas in Congress for two terms. He prevailed against Democratic State Sen. Barbara Bollier.
Marshall entered the campaign with the GOP’s traditional advantages in a state that tends to vote for conservatives. Republicans haven’t lost a Senate race in Kansas since 1932. But Bollier, a former Republican, excited Democrats and raised more than $25 million to set a Kansas record that Marshall couldn’t match.
Bollier pitched herself as an independent and common-sense centrist, but Marshall portrayed her as too liberal for Kansas.
Marshall will succeed retiring four-term Republican Sen. Pat Roberts. In Tuesday night’s victory speech, Marshall congratulated Bollier, her family, and their team for a hard-run race.
“And I pledge that whether you voted for us or not — whether you’re Republican, Democrat, or Independent — if you are a Kansan, Laina (Marshall’s wife) and I will proudly represent you and defend our Constitution,” Marshall said. “I believe that we are all Kansans first. We are all Americans first.”
The U.S. Representative, soon-to-be U.S. Senator, said he believes this election “will help protect our Kansas values, our freedoms, and our liberties for at least another two years.”
“This victory — like this U.S. Senate seat — belongs to the people of Kansas. This has been a year like no other, but I know better days are ahead. To the families who’ve lost loved ones amid this pandemic, the everyday workers and small businesses who are still struggling to make ends meet, and the farmers and producers concerned for their future, know that we will fight for you every single day. And, together, we will persevere. Together, we will emerge stronger than ever before,” Marshall said.
With the campaign over, Bollier said, “We must all look to the future.”
“Kansas has been working its way back from the partisan fringes for several years, and it has been a team effort. Our progress has not always been linear, but I hope my candidacy in 2020 made a meaningful contribution to the journey,” Bollier said. “I am proud to have been part of it, and I can’t wait to cheer on a new generation of leaders who grab the baton and propel us even further in the next leg of the race.”
One of the biggest races in Kansas is the race for the open U.S. Senate seat. The three candidates on your ballot are Libertarian Jason Buckley, Democrat Barbara Bollier and Republican Roger Marshall. They are vying to fill the seat of Senator Pat Roberts who is retiring.
Marshall and the Republican Party both know the race will determine control over the U.S. Senate. Marshall said his team has made more than 90 campaign stops in the last month to try and reach undecided voters. He said he’s confident western Kansas voters will support but fears Johnson County will support his opponent which is why he’s focused so much on Sedgwick County in the last stretch of this campaign.
He said history is on his side Tuesday night. Kansas has not elected a Democrat to the Senate since the 1930s.
“That’s what’s at stake, who controls the senate. If you think about the future of this country, the senate is the backstop. Whether it’s confirming Supreme Court justices or trade agreements. The Senate is what gives Kansas an equal voice to California, a much larger population. So there is a lot at stake. I’m expecting for the Republicans to hold a majority in the Senate, but that’s up to the people of Kansas,” Marshall said.
The congressman is holding his watch party in Topeka where about 200 people are expected to gather. It’s a much different scene in Overland Park where Bollier said no one is allowed in except for media and her husband. The stark contrasts in the events is a reminder of how differently Republicans and Democrats are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bollier said she feels at peace knowing that she did everything she could in preparation for election night. She said there has been a lot of money put into her campaign, with people from all 105 counties supporting or donating.
If Bollier were to win, it would be the first time a Democrat has sat in a Kansas Senate seat in almost 100 years.
Copyright 2020 KWCH. All rights reserved.