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U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts endorses Roger Marshall in GOP primary

By: - July 21, 2020 6:39 pm
U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall, who represents the 1st District in Kansas, is competing against former Secretary of State Kris Kobach and a handful of other candidates in the August Republican primary. (Submitted)

U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall, who represents the 1st District in Kansas, is competing against former Secretary of State Kris Kobach and a handful of other candidates in the August Republican primary. (Submitted)

TOPEKA — Retiring U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts on Tuesday endorsed Congressman Roger Marshall in the congested Republican Party primary for the open Senate seat.

Marshall, who represents the 1st District in the U.S. House, is competing against former Secretary of State Kris Kobach and a handful of other candidates in the August primary. Roberts held the “Big 1st” District before election to the Senate, winning 24 elections during his career.

On Tuesday, Roberts said he filled out his advance ballot by voting for Marshall.

“I believe Roger Marshall will continue the fight for the same issues that ensured my re-election for the last 40 years,” Roberts said. “I know Kansas Republicans will make the best choice for the state on Aug 4.”

Marshall said he appreciated Roberts’ support in the campaign and viewed the retiring senator as “an adviser, a sounding board and a friend.” He referred to the senator as a “giant of Kansas.”

“I could not be more honored to accept this endorsement as I seek to fill this U.S. Senate seat, and I accept the responsibility that comes with it,” Marshall said.

Kobach attributed the senator’s endorsement to a disagreement about possible reform of the meatpacking industry, which is dominated by four companies and has been accused of price fixing. He also said Marshall was a Republican in name only, or RINO.

“Pat Roberts and I have a fundamental disagreement,” Kobach said. “Roberts would prefer to back the powerful forces of the meatpacking industry, just like RINO Roger Marshall. I will stand with Kansas ranchers.”

Roberts, chairman of the Senate’s agriculture committee, pointed to Marshall’s work on farm issues in the House, his experience as a physician and his support for pro-life legislation and military installations.

Roberts said he would back the GOP primary winner and work to keep the seat out of the hands of Democrats. That nomination is expected to go to Barbara Bollier, a state senator from Johnson County who has attracted hefty campaign contributions.

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Tim Carpenter
Tim Carpenter

Tim Carpenter has reported on Kansas for 35 years. He covered the Capitol for 16 years at the Topeka Capital-Journal and previously worked for the Lawrence Journal-World and United Press International. He has been recognized for investigative reporting on Kansas government and politics. He won the Kansas Press Association's Victor Murdock Award six times. The William Allen White Foundation honored him four times with its Burton Marvin News Enterprise Award. The Kansas City Press Club twice presented him its Journalist of the Year Award and more recently its Lifetime Achievement Award. He earned an agriculture degree at Kansas State University and grew up on a small dairy and beef cattle farm in Missouri. He is an amateur woodworker and drives Studebaker cars.

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