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Former Kansas City Chiefs player gears up for 2020 Senate run in Kansas

Potential contenders that could run to replace Pat Roberts

Sen. Pat Roberts announced that he will not seek reelection in 2020. Take a look at the potential contenders that could run to replace him.
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Sen. Pat Roberts announced that he will not seek reelection in 2020. Take a look at the potential contenders that could run to replace him.

Former Kansas City Chiefs player Dave Lindstrom is gearing up for a possible run for U.S. Senate.

Lindstrom, an Overland Park Republican, currently serves as board chairman for the Kansas Turnpike Authority and as a member of Johnson County Community College’s Board of Trustees. He said he would decide within the next 90 days whether to join the Senate race in Kansas.

“I’m beyond trying to make up my mind at this point. I just want to assess the feasibility,” Lindstrom said.

“I am going to move forward on this.”

He said he received encouragement to run following Republican Sen. Pat Roberts’ January announcement that he would not seek re-election in 2020.

“At first, I dismissed it as idle compliments from friends,” Lindstrom said.

The former NFL player and businessman made an unsuccessful run for statewide office in 2002 as a running mate for Republican Tim Shallenburger, who lost the race for governor to Democrat Kathleen Sebelius.

Starting in 1978, Lindstrom played eight seasons for the Chiefs as a defensive end before retiring from the NFL to launch a career in business. Lindstrom, a native of Massachusetts and graduate of Boston University, opted to remain in Kansas after leaving football.

“The quality of life and cost of living is in my mind unmatched in this country and possibly the world,” Lindstrom said.

He owned four Burger King franchises in the Kansas City area until 2011 and served on the Johnson County Commission for a decade. Former Gov. Sam Brownback first appointed him to the Turnpike Authority’s board in 2013 and he became chairman three years later.

If he runs for Senate, Lindstrom would join a likely crowded GOP field that already includes state Treasurer Jake LaTurner and could soon include a host of other well-known Republicans, such as U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall and former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

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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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