Bollier says she raised nearly $13.5M for Senate bid

photo by: Associated Press

In this Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019, photo, Kansas state Sen. Barbara Bollier, D-Mission Hills, makes a point during a meeting of Democratic senators at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kansas. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA — Democrat Barbara Bollier said Monday that she raised nearly $13.5 million in three months for her U.S. Senate campaign, a record for Kansas that brought her total fundraising to more than $20 million in an unexpectedly tough race for Republicans in a conservative state.

Bollier also said she had nearly 365,000 donors from July 1 through Sept. 30 and began October with nearly $7.6 million in cash for the final weeks of her tight contest against Republican Roger Marshall.

The Democrat gave a broad summary of her fundraising, promising additional details when her campaign files a finance report with the Federal Election Commission later this week. Marshall’s campaign plans to release fundraising information when it files its report.

“This is money that will go towards making sure people know Barbara and know what she stands for,” said Bollier spokesperson Alexandra De Luca.

The campaigns and outside groups have already spent a record $32 million on advertising, with Bollier and her fellow Democrats outspending Marshall and GOP groups by nearly $3 million, according to the media tracking firm Advertising Analytics.

Bollier is a Kansas City-area state senator who was a lifelong Republican before she switched parties at the end of 2018. Her fundraising has buoyed Democrats’ hopes of an unexpected pickup in Kansas, where Republicans have won every Senate race since 1932.

Marshall is a two-term congressman for central and western Kansas, and he and GOP leaders are trying to keep Republicans in his fold partly by suggesting that a Bollier victory would all but ensure that Republicans lose their Senate majority.

His campaign manager, Eric Pahls, questioned the timing of Bollier’s announcement on fundraising. It came a day after Republicans circulated a video of Bollier during an Oct. 3 event near Kansas City in which she praised a 1990s Australian law that forced the owners of 700,000 guns to sell them to the government as “this amazing thing” and suggesting it had made that nation “pretty darn safe.” The law was passed in response to a mass shooting in which a gunman killed 35 people and wounded nearly two dozen others.

“It’s no coincidence that one day after Bollier was caught endorsing gun confiscations, she chooses to release this number,” Pahls said in a text to The Associated Press. “She’s trying to tell her Democrat big-money bosses in DC and California that she’s still relevant.”


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