July 31, 2019

ICYMI: Kansas City Star Refuses to Endorse Among the “Disappointing” Candidates in KSSEN Race

Topeka, KS – Today, the Kansas City Star Editorial Board refused to endorse a Republican candidate in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate, explaining that instead, “Republicans must choose the least disappointing candidate running. It won’t be easy.” By abstaining, the Kansas City Star Editorial Board echoes a sentiment Kansas voters already know to be true: not a single GOP primary candidate has the best interests of hardworking Kansans in mind. 

On this subject, KDP Chair Vicki Hiatt issued the following statement:

“Republican candidates have spent the primary season spending millions of dollars tying themselves to Donald Trump’s backwards agenda to claw their way ahead, effectively sidestepping the issues that matter most to hardworking Kansans. On the other hand, the Democratic Party has fortified our base by advocating for kitchen table issues like affordable healthcare, quality education and keeping our communities safe from COVID-19. The latest from the KC Star should be a wake up call for the Republican field — no matter the nominee, they will be unequivocally running behind Dr. Barbara Bollier in substance, message and integrity.”

Key passages from the KC Star Editorial Board:

On Roger Marshall: 

“But his short service in Congress has been disappointing. He’s a doctor, yet gives the president undeserved high marks for the nation’s disastrous response to COVID-19.

As medical experts have implored Americans to wear masks and socially distance, Marshall has hit the campaign trail bare-faced, shaking hands and holding indoor gatherings.

He has also admitted taking hydroxychloroquine, the potentially dangerous drug that medical experts say isn’t effective in treating COVID-19. “I’m relieved President Trump is taking it,” Marshall said in May.

The congressman has made much of his opposition to the Affordable Care Act, which is now a decade old. When we pointed out that the GOP still lacks a firm alternative to the ACA — which is now under siege in federal court — Marshall erupted. “That’s fake news,” he told us.

He’s wrong. The lack of a Republican replacement for the Affordable Care Act continues to threaten Kansans, particularly those with pre-existing conditions. A Senator Marshall, aligned with other Republicans, would do nothing to protect them.

Marshall first won his House seat by promising to focus on agriculture. Yet when President Donald Trump imposed crushing tariffs on imported goods, prompting other nations to retaliate, the congressman was powerless to protect Kansas farmers. Another whiff.”

On Kris Kobach: 

“The top three contenders include Kris Kobach, who was rightly rejected by Kansas voters in 2018 and whose candidacy strikes fear in the hearts of many Republicans who worry he would doom their chances in November…

Both Kobach and Hamilton refused to participate in endorsement interviews.

Kobach’s record of incompetence is known to all Kansans — and is so concerning that some Republicans are mobilizing efforts to thwart a Kobach primary victory, which they view as disastrous for the party…

He has given Kansans no reason to change their view that Kobach is unprepared for higher office. As secretary of state, Kobach the showman failed to do the basic work he was elected to do, wasting his time fighting losing legal battles against imagined voter fraud in his never-ending quest to prosecute undocumented immigrants.”

On Bob Hamilton: 

“Hamilton, a plumbing magnate, has spent more than $3 million of his own money on goofy campaign ads, while ducking legitimate debates and interviews. He’s never demonstrated a basic command of the issues, but jokes that not only does he want to build the wall, he wants to electrify it.

The Kansas Senate seat is not for sale, and Hamilton should not be allowed to buy it.”

Read More:

Kansas City Star Editorial Board: Eleven candidates add up to no Star endorsement in Kansas GOP primary for U.S. Senate (07/31/2020)

Kansas Republicans face a bewildering choice Tuesday, as they pick a nominee for the U.S. Senate seat now held by retiring Sen. Pat Roberts.

There are 11 candidates in the field. There’s a congressman, a libertarian, a socialist, a plumber, a former pro football player. One candidate is nationally known. Another doesn’t even live in Kansas.

There is no candidate on the ballot, though, that most Kansans would recognize as a mainstream Republican: someone who believes in open markets, a small but efficient government that protects people in need, the importance of science and education, federalism, low budget deficits and high personal standards.

The top three contenders include Kris Kobach, who was rightly rejected by Kansas voters in 2018 and whose candidacy strikes fear in the hearts of many Republicans who worry he would doom their chances in November; Bob Hamilton, who thinks he can run a substance-free campaign and then write a check to secure this nomination; and U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall, a medical doctor who is pushing unproven drugs and modeling dangerous behavior during a pandemic.

Kansas Republicans should be concerned. The great independent figures of Kansas GOP history — Bob Dole, Nancy Kassebaum, James Pearson, even Pat Roberts — would stand no chance of competing for the party’s Senate nomination in 2020. Instead, Republicans must choose the least disappointing candidate running

It won’t be easy.

MARSHALL, A DOCTOR WHO BUCKS COVID-19 SCIENCE

Marshall, who represents Kansas’ 1st Congressional District, is considered a front-runner. He’s picked up endorsements from Dole, Roberts and other Kansas political figures and groups.

But his short service in Congress has been disappointing. He’s a doctor, yet gives the president undeserved high marks for the nation’s disastrous response to COVID-19.

As medical experts have implored Americans to wear masks and socially distance, Marshall has hit the campaign trail bare-faced, shaking hands and holding indoor gatherings.

He has also admitted taking hydroxychloroquine, the potentially dangerous drug that medical experts say isn’t effective in treating COVID-19. “I’m relieved President Trump is taking it,” Marshall said in May.

The congressman has made much of his opposition to the Affordable Care Act, which is now a decade old. When we pointed out that the GOP still lacks a firm alternative to the ACA — which is now under siege in federal court — Marshall erupted. “That’s fake news,” he told us.

He’s wrong. The lack of a Republican replacement for the Affordable Care Act continues to threaten Kansans, particularly those with pre-existing conditions. A Senator Marshall, aligned with other Republicans, would do nothing to protect them.

Marshall first won his House seat by promising to focus on agriculture. Yet when President Donald Trump imposed crushing tariffs on imported goods, prompting other nations to retaliate, the congressman was powerless to protect Kansas farmers. Another whiff.

Marshall did agree to talk with The Star and the Wichita Eagle editorial boards, and deserves our thanks for that. When it was over, he rejected this candidate endorsement process and dropped the mic.

“I’m not asking for your endorsement,” Marshall told The Star and Eagle editorial boards. “If you would give me your endorsement, I would decline it.”

He didn’t need to worry.

GOP MOVING TO KNOCK KOBACH OFF TRACK

Both Kobach and Hamilton refused to participate in endorsement interviews.

Kobach’s record of incompetence is known to all Kansans — and is so concerning that some Republicans are mobilizing efforts to thwart a Kobach primary victory, which they view as disastrous for the party. Meantime, Democratic-linked groups are actually spending millions on ads aimed at boosting Kobach’s prospects. 

He has given Kansans no reason to change their view that Kobach is unprepared for higher office. As secretary of state, Kobach the showman failed to do the basic work he was elected to do, wasting his time fighting losing legal battles against imagined voter fraud in his never-ending quest to prosecute undocumented immigrants.

Hamilton, a plumbing magnate, has spent more than $3 million of his own money on goofy campaign ads, while ducking legitimate debates and interviews. He’s never demonstrated a basic command of the issues, but jokes that not only does he want to build the wall, he wants to electrify it.

The Kansas Senate seat is not for sale, and Hamilton should not be allowed to buy it

Former Kansas City Chiefs defensive end and Johnson County commissioner Dave Lindstrom would bring some welcome business experience to the Senate. He accuses the government of “overreach” in responding to COVID-19, and says America is “under attack” from allegedly open borders.

While Lindstrom may understandably be a more palatable alternative for some Republican voters, he is woefully short on policy details.

THE SOCIALIST, THE LIBERTARIAN AND OTHER LONG SHOTS

The other candidates have little to offer and have not mounted serious campaigns. Brian Matlock is a self-described socialist, and would be better served by running as a Democrat — for a lesser office. Lance Berland is a libertarian who thinks COVID-19 is a hoax in part because, as he says, few famous people have died from the virus.

John Miller’s platform comes closest to a traditional Republican approach. His campaign, though, was a last-minute decision and has been all but invisible in the state. The same problem confronts Derek Ellis, who works at a tire plant in Topeka.

Kansas State Board of Education member Steve Roberts voted to overturn Gov. Laura Kelly’s decision to delay school openings in the state. Someone that unconcerned with the health of children and teachers should not go to the U.S. Senate. Roberts won’t.

Gabriel Robles and John Berman are also Republican candidates for the Senate.

There was a path for a moderate Republican, or even a more traditional conservative, to run in this primary, and to win. Had we seen one in this race, we would have been proud to recommend him or her to the party, and potentially to the people of Kansas this November.

No one in this Republican primary met that standard.

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