Rep. Roger MarshallRoger W. MarshallDeadline for Kansas Senate race passes without Pompeo filing The 10 Senate seats most likely to flip Family Research Council endorses Roger Marshall in Kansas Senate primary MORE (R-Kan.) on Thursday suggested that former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s candidacy for an open Senate seat risks the party’s majority in the upper chamber.
“The last thing you need to be worrying about is keeping a Senate majority for the Republicans,” Marshall told The Hill when asked about Kobach’s bid to succeed Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsTrump tweets spark fresh headache for Republicans Trump’s tweet on protester sparks GOP backlash GOP lawmakers stick to Trump amid new criticism MORE (R-Kan.), who is retiring.
Marshall, who is also weighing a Senate run, warned that a contentious primary could be harmful to President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote GOP senator to try to reverse requirement that Pentagon remove Confederate names from bases No, ‘blue states’ do not bail out ‘red states’ MORE (R-Ky.).
“The last thing the president needs, the last thing that Leader McConnell needs, is to be worried about a Kansas primary for the Senate race,” Marshall said.
“I have complete confidence that the Kansans will pick in a state that President Trump won by 20 points, they will pick someone from the Republican primary that can win the statewide race,” he added.
Kobach — who has proven to be a controversial figure due to his stances on issues like immigration and voting rights — lost his 2018 gubernatorial race to a Democrat despite Trump carrying the state by a significant margin in 2016.
Marshall is not the first Republican to express concerns over a polarizing GOP candidate putting the Republican majority at risk. The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) came out against Kobach’s candidacy shortly after his announcement, noting his loss to Gov. Laura Kelly (D).
“Just last year Kris Kobach ran and lost to a Democrat. Now, he wants to do the same and simultaneously put President Trump’s presidency and Senate Majority at risk,” NRSC press secretary Joanna Rodriguez said in a statement earlier this week. “We know Kansans won’t let that happen and we look forward to watching the Republican candidate they do choose win next fall.”
Marshall would be the fourth GOP candidate to enter the race should he decide launch a Senate bid. Kansas Treasurer Jake LaTurner (R) and Dave Lindstrom, a former Kansas City Chiefs defensive end, have already announced their bids.
Marshall said while he has not ruled out a run, he is currently focused on his work in the House.
“I’m still certainly engaged. My biggest priority is getting USMCA and NAFTA 2.0 across the finish line, and we had the votes to pass it if Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names Black lawmakers unveil bill to remove Confederate statues from Capitol Pelosi: Georgia primary ‘disgrace’ could preview an election debacle in November MORE would just bring it to the floor,” he said, referring to the updated North American Free Trade Agreement that the White House has yet to send to Congress for a vote.
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