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Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle Announces Run For US Senate

Stephen Koranda
Kansas Public Radio/File Photo
Senate President Wagle on the chamber floor earlier this year.

The race to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts is getting more crowded: Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle said Wednesday that she is jumping into the Republican field.

Wagle is the first woman to serve as president of the Senate, and she kicked off her campaign with a video touting her experience in state government and her support for President Trump.

“I’m fighting every day to make sure he has an ally for the Trump agenda, right here in Kansas,” she said.

Candidates have been lining up to replace Roberts. The Republican announced he won’t run for reelection next year.

As a conservative Republican, Wagle has clashed with Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly on issues such as taxes and Medicaid expansion.

“When I see an injustice, someone being taken advantage of or a flawed idea that I know is going to hurt Kansas families, you’d better believe I’m going to stand up and fight with everything I have,” Wagle said.

Wagle joins a field that includes contenders like former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Emporia State University political scientist Michael Smith said Wagle could offer voters a less controversial alternative to Kobach.

“She does have the conservative credentials without the controversy,” Smith said. “She also has a lot of political experience.”

Also running are state Treasurer Jake LaTurner and former Chiefs football player Dave Lindstrom. Several others are eyeing the race.

The Democratic field so far includes former U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom and former 2nd District Congresswoman Nancy Boyda.