The Kansas U.S. Senate GOP primary is coming up and for those of you have been out of the loop, The Washington Monthly will explain why this is the craziest U.S. Senate primary of the year:
The state of Kansas holds its primary on August 4th and a whopping eleven candidates are vying for the Republican nomination to fill the senate seat vacated by the retirement of Pat Roberts. As a result, money from outside groups is pouring into the race, but not in the ways we’ve come to expect.
For example, a group with ties to Mitch McConnell is running ads that accuse one of the frontrunners, Kris Kobach, of having ties to white nationalists (fact check: true).
Meanwhile, another frontrunner is actually facing attacks from a group with ties to Kansas Democrats. The Sunflower State PAC is accusing Roger Marshall—who has been endorsed by McConnell, as well as the Chamber of Commerce—of being a swamp creature.
Political committees are spending more than $9.3 million so far on ads, according to the media tracking firm Advertising Analytics. That compares to the candidates' $4.6 million, the firm said. Another firm, Media Buying, put the groups' spending at nearly $9.6 million.
Establishment Republicans and supporters of Kobach, the former Kansas secretary of state, are waging a fierce campaign because many GOP leaders and activists fear the seat will be in play if Kobach is the nominee. Known nationally for advocating tough immigration policies and a take-no-prisoners style, Kobach alienated independent and moderate GOP voters in losing the Kansas governor's race in 2018.
Spending by the PACs has easily outpaced the candidates' fundraising in recent weeks. The top three Republicans and the presumed Democratic nominee, state Sen. Barbara Bollier, have raised more than $1.1 million since June 30, but Advertising Analytics said the Senate Leadership Fund's advertising alone is more — and it's just one of three groups spending more than $1 million.
Her self-imposed quarantine strikes a sharp contrast with her leading Republican rivals, who have started appearing in public again. And Bollier’s campaign rebuked Rep. Roger Marshall after the physician said he takes hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug touted by President Donald Trump that’s unproven as a treatment against COVID-19. Her campaign said promoting an unproven medicine is potentially dangerous.
“I knew we were in trouble and so I’ve been very vocal from the beginning how serious this is,” Bollier said.
Her husband, Rene, who practices at St. Joseph Family Medical Care in Kansas City, is on the front lines of the pandemic. It means that the two are essentially social distancing at home to limit the possibility he’ll accidentally infect her. Bollier said the separation been one of the toughest changes imposed by COVID-19.
Let’s go all in to flip Kansas Blue. Click below to donate and get involved with Bollier, Biden and her fellow Kansas Democrats campaigns: