Kansas Senator Bollier, who left GOP, running for US Senate as a Democrat

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Kansas State Sen. Barbara Bollier

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TOPEKA, Kan. — A Kansas legislator who defected from the Republican Party last year is running for the U.S. Senate next year as a Democrat.

State Senator Barbara Bollier, of the Kansas City suburb of Mission Hills, promised an independent approach in kicking off her campaign Wednesday. The 61-year-old retired anesthesiologist also condemned dysfunction in Washington as she seeks to replace retiring Republican Sen. Pat Roberts.

Republicans haven’t lost a U.S. Senate race in Kansas since 1932. But Democrats are heartened by the victories last year of U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids in a Kansas City area district and Gov. Laura Kelly statewide.

Former federal prosecutor Barry Grissom and Manhattan Mayor Pro Tem Usha Reddi also are running as Democrats. Republican contenders include Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle , western Kansas congressman Roger Marshall and immigration hardliner Kris Kobach .

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