State Watch

Republican state senator in Kansas demoted after endorsing Dems

Bollier campaign

Kansas State Sen. Barbara Bollier (R) has been stripped of her leadership position by the Republican Senate president after she endorsed two Democrats.

Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle (R) removed Bollier from her position as vice chair of the Public Health and Welfare Committee over her “embarrassing” endorsements, The Lawrence Journal-World reported Wednesday.

“While we respect differing opinions in our caucus, it is unacceptable to betray members of your own party by publicly endorsing leftist Democrats,” Wagle said in a statement. “Senator Bollier has lost credibility within our caucus which makes it impossible for her to function in a leadership role.”

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The decision came hours after Tom Niermann — one of six Democrats running to unseat U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder (R) — announced that Bollier would campaign for him, the newspaper noted.

Bollier, considered a moderate Republican, also reportedly expressed support for Democratic State Sen. Laura Kelly in the governor’s race if Kelly secured the party’s nomination.

Bollier told the Wichita Eagle that her support of Niermann was not a partisan issue.

“I’m not trying to make things more difficult for anyone. I just think he would be a great congressman for us,” she said.

Niermann praised Bollier for her “political courage” following her demotion, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported Wednesday.

“She was removed from her leadership positions today for speaking truth to power,” Niermann said of Bollier. “Her removal is an example of politics as usual. Her countless acts of political courage are an example of politics as they should be.”

Bollier indicated to the Topeka newspaper that she is considering leaving the Republican Party.

Tags Barbara Bollier Kansas Kansas State Senate Kevin Yoder Topeka Wichita

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