Barry Grissom withdraws from US Senate race, endorses Barbara Bollier

Published: Oct. 17, 2019 at 11:07 AM CDT
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Today, former U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom announced that he was suspending his campaign for the U.S. Senate and instead endorsing Barbara Bollier:

“While I’m incredibly proud and humbled by the support friends have given me during this campaign, I’m announcing that I no longer intend to seek the Democratic nomination to the U.S. Senate.

“Working to win our U.S. Senate seat for the first time in more than 80 years has always been a mission that’s bigger than just me and I know a drawn-out primary would be harmful to our fight. I’ve come to believe the most important thing I can do to help us win this race is to step aside, and ask for all those that want to challenge Kansas’ status quo to unite with me in supporting Barbara Bollier.

“State Senator Bollier has always had the courage to put politics aside in order to do the right thing, and she was instrumental in helping stop the Brownback cuts to schools, roads and public safety. As our next U.S. Senator, I know Barbara Bollier will be an incredible advocate for working families and children, and I will do everything in my power to help elect her.

Barry Grissom is the former U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas, and is best known for his efforts in helping stop the Wichita Airport and Fort Riley military base bombings.

During his tenure as a candidate for the U.S. Senate, the Wall Street Journal reported a leaked Republican poll showing Grissom leading Kris Kobach by 10 points. Barry also amassed several endorsements during his bid, including SMART Kansas Union, former Mayors Carl Brewer of Wichita and Mark Holland of Kansas City, Kansas, and former State Democratic Party Chairs John Gibson (2017 - 2019), Lee Kinch (2015 - 2017), and Larry Gates (2003 - 2011).

Barry also smashed a long-standing record for the most a Kansas Democrat had ever raised in their first quarter report for the U.S. Senate race. Previously, former Congressman Jim Slattery set the record with $289,025 raised in his first fundraising report after announcing for the 2008 Senate race. In Barry’s first quarter he reported $468,513 raised, creating a new all-time Democratic record. In his first quarter report, the Kansas City Star also noted that he had outraised almost all Kansas Republican Senate candidates.

As the former U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas, Barry Grissom worked with law enforcement and civil rights advocates to improve community relations, founded Kansas’s first Human Trafficking Working Group, helped clean up gang activity, oversaw Kansas’s Project Safe Childhood program targeting child sex offenders and led the charge among federal authorities to break up a dogfighting ring responsible for capturing and abusing over 400 pit bulls.

In 2020, Kansas will elect a new U.S. Senator due to the announced retirement of current Senator Pat Roberts. The state of Kansas has only had three “open” U.S. Senate races in the past 40 years.

A high-definition picture of former U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom is available here.