Government & Politics

Former Kansas Gov. Sebelius endorses Bollier in U.S. Senate race

To read an updated version of this story, which includes an interview with former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, click here.

Former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius waded into the race for U.S. Senate Monday, a move that could help seal the Democratic nomination for state Sen. Barbara Bollier.

Sebelius, who was elected governor twice as a Democrat, played a key role in elevating Gov. Laura Kelly’s successful campaign in 2018.

The former Obama Health and Human Services secretary is trying to do the same in the 2020 Senate race for Bollier, a Jonson County lawmaker who switched parties last year.

“Our politics have become too partisan and lack the values and common sense so critical to progress. Barbara will be a breath of fresh air in the U.S. Senate. She has stood up for Kansas families in our state’s legislature for almost ten years, leading the fight to repeal Sam Brownback’s devastating tax experiment, fully fund our schools, and expand Medicaid,” Sebelius said in a statement announcing her endorsement of Bollier.

Bollier’s entry into the race last week prompted former U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom to drop out last week and endorse the state senator rather continue his bid.

Sebelius’ endorsement demonstrates that the Democratic establishment in the state has already begun to coalesce around the retired physician in the race to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Pat Roberts.

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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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