The Buzz

Kansas Democrat Barry Grissom, inching toward Senate run, meets with Chuck Schumer

File photo of former U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom at a news conference in 2015.
File photo of former U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom at a news conference in 2015. The Kansas City Star

A lot of Kansans are popping up in Washington as the 2020 race for U.S. Senate approaches.

Former U.S. Attorney for Kansas Barry Grissom is the latest visitor. He met this week with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Democratic senators as he contemplates a run for the seat that will be vacated by Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, after the 2020 election.

Grissom said he could not comment on the meetings. Schumer’s office also did not comment.

A Democrat has not won a Senate race in Kansas since 1932, but Grissom was laying the groundwork for a potential run before Roberts announced his retirement.

“Folks in D.C. they’ll smile politely when you start talking about Kansas could be purple… but now after this last election they look you right in the eye,” Grissom told The Star in December after Democrat Laura Kelly was elected governor.

Grissom, a Johnson County resident, served as the top federal prosecutor in Kansas from 2010 to 2016. He is currently vice president of global policy and corporate counsel for Electrum Partners, a Nevada-based firm that invests in medical marijuana.

Grissom’s meeting with Schumer comes a week after Kansas Treasurer Jake LaTurner, a Republican and the only declared candidate for the race, visited with officials at the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

Rep. Roger Marshall, R-Kansas, has also met with the NRSC, while Senate GOP leaders engaged in a very public effort to recruit Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

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Bryan Lowry covers Kansas and Missouri politics as Washington correspondent for The Kansas City Star. He previously served as Kansas statehouse correspondent for The Wichita Eagle and as The Star’s lead political reporter. Lowry contributed to The Star’s investigation into government secrecy that was a finalist for The Pulitzer Prize.
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