Western Kansas Congressman Roger Marshall Launches Senate Bid

September 7, 2019 Updated: September 7, 2019

Rep. Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) threw his hat in the ring to replace retiring Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) on Saturday, Sept. 7.

Marshall, who has been a doctor for over 25 years and a two-term congressman, made the announcement at the Kansas State Fair.

“I’m running to protect our way of life in Kansas; our values; our jobs; our children; our farms, our ranches, and our dairies,” he told the crowd during the announcement.

“You can tell what kind of senator I’ve been from the kind of Kansan I’ve been. I grew up here in Kansas, served my country and then served my community by having the honor of performing the most humbling act of all, bringing human life into the world most every day for 25 years,” he added.

In a campaign video posted on Twitter and other social media platforms, Marshall highlighted his pro-life position, support for farmers, the Second Amendment, and his close relationship with President Trump.

“Nobody is more pro-life or pro-Second Amendment than I am,” Marshall said during the campaign launch event. “Am I a kinder, gentler voice? Probably. Am I going to work across the aisle to solve problems? You bet.”

Roberts announced on Jan. 4 that he won’t seek re-election, the Associated Press reported.

The race for the GOP nomination could become crowded. Beside Marshall, former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, former Kansas City Chiefs player Dave Lindstrom, conservative commenter Bryan Pruitt, and President of the Kansas Senate Susan Wagle are already campaigning.

Kansas Roger Marshall
Congressman Roger Marshall (R-Kan.) (R) and Congressman Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) appears on Urban View’s Helping Our Heroes Special at the Cannon Building on Capitol Hill in Washington on May 16, 2018. (Larry French/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

Marshall pitched himself to fellow Republicans as a pragmatic conservative who can keep the seat in GOP hands by thwarting immigration hardliner Kobach’s bid for the party’s nomination.

Kobach built a national profile by advocating tough immigration policies, though he lost the Kansas governor’s race last year after his take-no-prisoners style alienated moderate voters.

Many Republicans fear a repeat of last year when Kobach narrowly won a crowded GOP primary only to lose the governor’s race to Democrat Laura Kelly.

Some prominent Republicans have been nudging Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to jump in, though he has not indicated whether he might enter the primary, The Hill reported.

“I spend my days focused on delivering American foreign policy around the world, every hour, every day. That’s what I’m doing. I never vary from that,” he said in one local interview.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.