Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan) is retiring at the end of his present term. Roberts has held the office for four terms, and his departure sets up a heated battle within both major political parties amongst those who propose to take his seat.
Kansas is a conservative, Republican, state. Both of its US Senators fit those two adjectives, although Governor Laura Kelly is a Democrat and, by most accounts, a political centrist. Kelly won her office by defeating Republican nominee Kris Kobach by four percentage points, last year
Kobach may be one of the candidates in the Republican primary for the Senate seat. He could face intraparty opposition from, among others, the state treasurer, Jake LaTurner, Rep. Roger Marshall, and former Governor Jeff Colyer.
Meanwhile, on the Democratic side, primary candidates may include Barry Grissom, a former US Attorney, and Kathleen Sebelius, a former Governor who was US Secretary of Health and Human Services under President Obama.
The Thing to Know:
Sebelius’ name and reputation are bound up with the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as “Obamacare.” Many Kansan voters were and remain unhappy with that Act. Should the former HHS Secretary be the Democratic nominee, then, almost regardless of who the Republican nomination may be, the race is bound to be in large part a debate about the role of the federal government in issues of health care and health insurance.