Topeka — A veteran Kansas legislator who’s run twice before for statewide office announced Tuesday that he’s seeking the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate.
Sen. David Haley, of Kansas City, joins an already crowded race. Two other Democrats and three Republicans are running for the seat of Sen. Sam Brownback, a conservative Republican who’s running for governor.
Haley said he’ll file for the office later this month. The primary election is Aug. 3.
“We here in the heartland can indeed be socially progressive and fiscally conservative,” Haley said in a statement. “When Kansas virtually ignores party labels, the result is the ability to compromise on crucial issues of the day.”
Haley, 51, is the best known of the declared Democratic candidates because he was the party’s nominee for Kansas secretary of state in 2002 and 2006, though in both, he received 32 percent of the vote. He’s served in the Legislature since 1995.
In the primary, he’ll face Lisa Johnston, of Overland Park, an assistant dean for student academic services at Baker University, and Charles Schollenberger, a former newspaper reporter and editor from Prairie Village.
But no Democrat has won a U.S. Senate race in Kansas since 1932.
The race for the GOP nomination is likely to be the state’s hottest political contest. U.S. Reps. Jerry Moran and Todd Tiahrt are running, and both had spent more than $1 million through the first quarter of this year.
Robert Londerholm Sr., who served as Kansas attorney general in 1965-69, also has announced he’s seeking the GOP nomination but hasn’t organized a campaign.