KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Republican Roger Marshall will become the next U.S. senator from Kansas after defeating Democratic opponent Barbara Bollier in Tuesday’s election.
The Associated Press called the race for Marshall shortly before 10 p.m. By Wednesday morning, he had around 54 percent of the vote with all the state’s precincts reporting.
The race garnered national attention for its potential to flip majority control in the Senate. In the end, the senate seat will remain in the hands of Republicans.
“Kansans have chosen freedom over socialism,” Marshall said to a group of supporters in Topeka Tuesday night. “Kansans have chosen liberty over tyranny, we’ve chosen liberty over lockdown. We believe in smaller government, not bigger government. We believe we are a republic whose powers are truly vested in the people where individual liberties triumph over all enemies.”
The national spotlight on this race helped make it the most expensive race in Kansas history, according to the Associated Press.
Bollier consistently outpaced Marshall in fundraising and had around $25 million in campaign funds.
Combined, the two candidates and other groups were expected to spend more than $55 million on advertising, according to a late October report.
Marshall acknowledged his ground game for helping him overcome Bollier’s fundraising lead.
“We knew from day one that we're going to be outspent three to one, four to one, we didn't know what it would be,” Marshall said. “We had to win the grassroots war and our GOP Republican chair people just did an incredible job.”
Marshall has served Kansas as a U.S. Representative since 2016. On the campaign trail, he boasted having voted with President Donald Trump 98 percent of the time. That may have helped him win the state. Trump won Kansas by about 16 percent. Marshal won by a similar 13 percent margin.
Tuesday, Marshall laid out some of his plans for his term in the Senate. Priorities include creating jobs, cutting regulations, protecting the second amendment, strengthening the southern border, supporting law enforcement and boosting the military.
Bollier called Marshall to congratulate him on the victory. In her concession speech, the Johnson County doctor urged her supporters to respect the results of the election. She said she’ll find ways to work on the issues important to her in Kansas.
“Of course, this wasn't the finale we hoped. But at a time of deep national cynicism, when faith in our democratic institutions hangs by a thread, I consider it a sacred patriotic duty to accept tonight's outcome,” Bollier said Tuesday night.
The seat came up for grabs when longtime Sen. Pat Roberts announced he wouldn’t run for reelection in 2020.
He’s retiring after four terms in office.
Roberts endorsed Marshall for the seat in July. Famed Kansas politician Bob Dole also endorsed Marshall.
Marshall goes by “Doc” as he is an OB/GYN who says he’s delivered roughly 5,000 babies during his career, most while working in Great Bend. He has four children and two grandchildren with another on the way. He’s been married to his wife, Laina, for more than 35 years.
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