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Meet the candidates vying to represent Kansas in the U.S. Senate

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Coming up Aug. 2, Democratic and Republican voters will decide which candidates will advance to face off in the Nov. 8 general election.

As a reminder, every registered voter may cast their ballot in the Aug. 2 election — it is a primary, but there is a constitutional amendment question on the ballot that means all voters, even those who are unaffiliated or registered as Libertarians, may vote.

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But those who do claim parties will also have the opportunity to select the candidate they’d like to send to Washington, D.C. to represent Kansas for the next six years.

Cast your ballot in the Aug. 2 election

You can quickly request an advance ballot to be mailed to you at KSVotes.org. The last day to request a mail ballot is July 26.

To see what’s on the ballot, visit this link. For information about voting early in person, visit this link. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, Aug. 2.

* We are not election workers *

We’ve devoted a great deal of our time, energy and resources to coverage of the constitutional amendment question — read about the amendment and its language here, and find a bunch more coverage of the issue via this link — and we don’t want to reinvent the wheel.

So here’s a quick guide to the candidates who want your vote in the U.S. Senate race. We’ve collected some key points from their campaign websites (where available), and we’re including links to their websites, social media and other news coverage to learn more about them. We are linking to coverage that is paywall-free and open for all to read. Laura McMillan of KSNW-TV compiled strong questionnaires with most of the candidates, and those are linked below. The Kansas Reflector has also provided coverage of several candidates.

Democratic candidates include Paul Buskirk, Mark Holland, Robert Klingenberg, Michael Soetart, Patrick Wiesner, and Mike Andra. Republican candidates include Joan Farr and Jerry Moran (incumbent). Libertarian candidate David C Graham will run against the winners in the November general election.

Get all the details you need about how to cast your ballot at this link.

Meet the Democratic candidates

Paul Buskirk, Lawrence:

Brief highlights from his website:

Paul Buskirk

• “Providing the voice to help those who have little or none themselves – our children.”
• “I come from a long line of people who have provided service to others: Pastors, teachers, doctors, nurses, and counselors. I too have served in education for the duration of my professional career.”
• “My greatest and most passionate hope is that any woman who is considering an abortion would invest heartfelt and thought-filled consideration into alternatives. … However, I believe that if a woman does wish to proceed with an abortion, she should have every right to do so, legally.”
• “Regardless of our sexuality and how we each choose to identify, our individual rights must be affirmed and actively protected.”

More:

Website
Facebook, Twitter
KSN questionnaire
Kansas Reflector article

(Rev.) Mark Holland, Kansas City:

Brief highlights from his website:

Mark Holland

• “I am running for US Senate in Kansas because as a father, a pastor, and a (former mayor of Kansas City, Kansas), I put people over politics.”
• “As mayor I oversaw $2.8 billion in private investment that created over 12,000 new jobs in Wyandotte County.”
• “I will serve the community by supporting real wages for workers, funding rural and urban hospitals, and our public schools.”
• “We need to defend the right of every woman to have autonomy over her body and make a decision about abortion. This basic human right should not be regulated by the government.”
• “I worked to honor my family legacy of service as pastor by serving all people outside the church and working for ordination and marriage for the LGBTQ community within our church.”

More:

Website
Facebook, Twitter
KSN questionnaire
Kansas Reflector article

Robert Klingenberg, Salina:

Brief highlights from his website: 

Robert Klingenberg

• “I am a working-class man with REAL solutions to the problems facing our workers.”
• “I am a first-generation Mexican-American who grew up in Salina, KS. I have spent my whole life in Kansas and have been a working class citizen my whole life. My experiences have taught me how to lead, how to rally people together, and how to manage resources.”
• “I believe in a set of universal rights. These are rights that every American in the United States should be entitled to.”
• Some top priorities: “6 months paid parental leave; Universal Healthcare including Family Planning Care; Breaking up agricultural monopolies; Eliminating income tax on all workers making less than 100K; Investing in publicly owned green energy companies”
• “I will only accept donations from individuals and will not take any corporate money.”

More:

Website
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
KSN questionnaire
Kansas Reflector article

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Michael (Mike) Soetart, Alta Vista:

Brief highlights from his website: 

Mike Soetart

• “The message is loud and clear that we must work to end corporate pollution & protect planet Earth.”
• “CEOs used to make 30x their workers’ pay, now it’s nearly 300x. Why settle for just $15hr when our American workers deserve $25?”
• “I’m a compassionate constitutional conservative. I support the 2nd Amendment. … Let’s ban assault weapons now & pass common sense gun laws immediately!”
• “Bei​ng PRO-LIFE is my life’s ​story. I was adopted at birth by a Catholic family. … I encourage immunization, vaccination & masking.”
• “I am a GAY DEMOCRAT who believes in DIGNITY, RESPECT & EQUALITY FOR ALL!”

More:

Website
Facebook (personal page), Twitter, Instagram
• KSN questionnaire — answered each question with the link to his website

Patrick Wiesner, Overland Park: 

Brief highlights from his website:

Patrick Wiesner

• “My profession is law. My private practice expertise is tax; my military specialty was federal fiscal and contract law. My motivation is to stop the unfettered giveaway of our tax dollars by the Democrat and Republican incumbents in Congress. …  My job is to halt this looting of the US Treasury.”
• “I intend to push for laws that prohibit ownership or possession of weapons capable of mowing down advancing troops.”
• “I intend to lead the movement to remove Donald Trump’s influence from our state’s politics.”
• “I support building a wall and equally support strengthening security at our ports. The purpose is to keep drugs out.”
• “I trust a woman’s judgment. I have seen where choice is sometimes necessary to avoid suffering and brutal hardship. That’s why I am pro-choice.”

More:

Website
KSN questionnaire

Mike Andra, Wichita:

• ? Coming up empty here
• KSN questionnaire — awaiting response as of July 21 

Meet the Republican candidates

Joan Farr, Derby (also running in Oklahoma):

Brief highlights from her website:

Joan Farr

• “Joan wants to help people file mass pro se lawsuits to end the pandemic, overhaul the legal system by passing a justice amendment, implement a ‘Get Out of Debt’ plan that helps bridge the gap between the rich and poor, remove innocent Americans from the terrorist watchlist, ensure that her father receives the Medal of Honor, and pay off a fraudulent $140,000 IRS debt that she doesn’t owe.”
• “Have you lost a loved one from Covid or your job for refusing the vaccine? Mass pro se lawsuits will end the pandemic not vaccines.”
• “She believes in passing laws that favor the majority of people in America, and she cannot and will not be bought by any lobbyist or special interest group.”
• “When the sperm and the egg unite, it is God’s will that a child should be born. I believe that what God has joined together, let no one put asunder.”

More:

Website
Facebook (personal page), Twitter, Instagram
KSN questionnaire
Kansas Reflector article

Jerry Moran, Manhattan (incumbent):

Brief highlights from his website: 

Jerry Moran

• “Throughout his entire career in public service, Jerry has used his voice and his vote to defend the unborn and protect life at all stages.”
• “Jerry worked with President Trump to build the wall at our southern border and curb illegal immigration.”
• “Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, AOC, and the radical Left are attacking our Kansas values. They want taxpayer-funded abortions, restrictions on our God-given rights, like the Second Amendment, and they want to defund the police. That’s wrong. Kansans support the right to life, religious freedom, and the United States Constitution.”
• “As a lifelong Kansan, Jerry understands the importance of our agriculture industry. That’s why he’s helped write farm bills that support our farmers, ranchers, and producers. He worked with President Trump to hold Communist China accountable for its unfair trade practices.”

More:

Website
Facebook, Twitter
• KSN questionnaire — awaiting responses as of July 21 

Cast your ballot in the Aug. 2 election

You can quickly request an advance ballot to be mailed to you at KSVotes.org. The last day to request a mail ballot is July 26.

To see what’s on the ballot, visit this link. For information about voting early in person, visit this link. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, Aug. 2.

* We are not election workers *

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