Senator Pat Roberts (R) is retiring, so the U.S. Senate seat in Kansas is open. Can the Democrats win it?
Without an incumbent running in the election, the race automatically becomes more competitive. For many months now pundits have been openly wondering if Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would run, and indeed he himself made noises as though he would run. But ultimately, he made the decision recently NOT to run and let Mitch McConnell know that formally.
Had he run, Pompeo would have been a formidable opponent. With sky high name recognition and an ability to raise a lot of money, he would have been tough to beat. But with him out of the race, what are we looking at?
Who is running for the Kansas Senate seat?
Republicans: With Pompeo out, the next most likely candidate for the Republican nomination is Kris Kobach. Kobach is the state’s former Secretary of State (where he manufactured many voter suppression schemes) and ran for governor in 2018–a race he lost to Democrat Laura Kelly. Mitch McConnell, though, doesn’t like Kobach and looks to be backing Roger Marshall.
Democrats: There are currently three Democratic opponents running in the primary, (you can see the full list HERE), the most prominent being Barbara Bollier. Bollier made headlines when she switched her party registration from Republican to Democratic saying, “Morally, the [Republican Party] is not going where my compass resides. I’m looking forward to being in a party that represents the ideals that I do, including Medicaid expansion and funding our K-12 schools.”
The primary for the Senate seat in Kansas is August 4, 2020.
How you can help the Democrats flip this Senate seat
It’s going to take good old fashioned organizing and investment.
1. Donate to the Kansas Senate Seat Fund. ActBlue has just started a Kansas Senate fund for the eventual Democratic nominee. All of the funds raised will be held until there is a primary winner, and then the whole pot will be given to the nominee. Of course, if there is a specific primary candidate you want to donate to, by all means do that. For those folks outside the state, ActBlue’s fund is a great way to support the eventual nominee without needing to know the details of Kansas politics. Plus, this money will be crucial for the nominee to have especially against the ton of outside money pouring into the state to help Tillis get re-elected.
2. Help with voter registration drives in the state. As one idea, share Rock the Vote’s voter registration page (with important dates!) for Kansas (HERE) on your social media pages. Do a Google search for “Kansas” and “voter registration drives” and share that information with your social media followers.
3. Support the Kansas Democratic party. Donate to them, ask them how you can help with voter registration drives, or boosting the number of volunteers they have to help with campaigns.
4. Support Kansas’s League of Women Voters. They organize voter registration drives and have events to inform and connect voters with the candidates.
Do you have other ideas of how we can flip the Kansas Senate seat, particularly ideas for folks outside the state who want to help? If so, please let me know in the comments. Thanks!