Kris Kobach files for U.S. Senate, lists himself as a doctor — of political science

photo by: Associated Press

Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach addresses the crowd as he announces his candidacy for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate Monday, July 8, 2019, in Leavenworth. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach on Thursday filed to run in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate seat that will be left vacant by outgoing Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts.

In doing so, he listed his title as “Dr. Kris Kobach,” which he has done for some — but not all — of his previous Kansas races.

He has listed himself as a doctor when running for secretary of state, but not when he ran for Kansas governor in 2018.

Kobach’s main competitors for the Senate seat, Dr. Roger Marshall, R-Great Bend, and Dr. Barbara Bollier, D-Mission Hills, are both medical doctors. When asked why Kobach identified himself as a doctor for this race, an unidentified spokesperson replied to the Journal-World via email and said only that it’s because Kobach does have a doctoral degree.

“He has a doctorate from Oxford in political science,” the message, sent through Kobach’s campaign email, said.

Of the 20 total candidates running for state or national office who have filed to run in 2020 primary elections with Secretary of State Scott Schwab’s office, only eight — besides Kobach — are not medical doctors, a Journal-World analysis found.

Kobach’s filing came on the same day Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, announced she would not seek election to the U.S. Senate. Republican polls released this week have shown Kobach virtually tied with Bollier should the general election come down to them.

Candidates have until June 1 to file with Schwab’s office to run in the Aug. 4 primary. The 2020 general election will take place Nov. 3.

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