Senate President Susan Wagle, a Republican with 30 years of experience in the Kansas Legislature, has never been mistaken for a shrinking violet. She took on an otherwise all-male Republican field to make the case she was best suited to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, the dean of Kansas politics. As the primary campaign season was about to catch fire in March, COVID-19 began consuming the nation’s political oxygen. Then, one of her children, 38-year-old Julia Scott passed away.
- On losing her daughter: “I couldn’t keep up with that race and with COVID breaking out all across Kansas — so sorry, I’m getting teary-eyed. It’s still very hard for me.”
- The GOP primary for the U.S. Senate seat is unpredictable, she said. Polling has been rendered irrelevant as people became weary of all the advertising, direct mail, texting and phone calls.
- Wagle said she was irritated by Kelly’s executive orders that compelled people to stay home, close businesses, avoid church and interrupt K-12 education.
- Medicaid expansion is a bad idea because “it’s not a quality program,” she said, and the better solution is health care reform.
IN THIS EPISODE
Kansas State Senator Susan Wagle was sworn in as the 47th Kansas Senate President on Jan. 14, 2012. She is currently serving her fourth term in the Kansas Senate, representing the eastern part of Wichita. She is the first woman to serve as a top legislative leader in the state. She first came to Topeka in 1990 as a member of the House of Representatives.