Dr. Roger Marshall, a two-term congressman representing Kansas’ 1st Congressional District, is confident he’ll be the Sunflower State’s next U.S. senator.
This is an open Senate seat being vacated by retiring U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), who endorsed Marshall ahead of the Republican Party primary.
“Roger is a doctor who can help guide this country through a pandemic that has touched every Kansan,” Roberts tweeted on July 21st, 2020. “I sit on the Health Committee and know firsthand how important it will be to keep a Kansas view on the committee.”
RealClearPolitics shows Marshall leading his competitor, Barbara Bollier, by about 2-4 percentage points.
The Kansas native is a self-described “fifth-generation farm kid” who grew up near Wichita.
“My American Dream was to become a doctor,” the first-generation college graduate said.
He completed medical school 30 years ago and served in the U.S. Army Reserves, then settled in Great Bend, KS. During his time as an OBGYN, he delivered over 5,000 babies—an experience influencing his pro-life views.
Here’s how his campaign stands ahead of Election Day.
Gun Rights a Top Issue in Kansas
Dr. Marshall said the Second Amendment has emerged as a top issue on the campaign trail.
“She’s [Bollier] not just a liberal. She’s extreme—she’s extreme on this issue,” the Republican nominee said of his opponent, a former moderate Republican who boasts an F rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA).
More recently, Bollier endorsed Australian-style gun control—a view that isn’t in lockstep with most Kansas voters.
Washington Free Beacon’s Stephen Gutowski recently highlighted her comments:
"They have no guns. They don’t allow them. They just took them all away," Bollier said with a chuckle in a video obtained by the Washington Free Beacon. "And, you know what, it’s pretty darn safe. It’s this amazing thing."
The avid sportsman also cited a bill he introduced last December, the Home Defense and Competitive Shooting Act, to make it easier for law-abiding Americans to procure short-barreled rifles. These firearms, he said, have been subjected to onerous National Firearms Act (NFA) regulations since 1934.
“For women especially, it’s maybe the best self-defense weapon out there,” he noted.
Why? He cited benefits like fewer instances of noise pollution and limited recoil.
This, along with the Hearing Protection Act and concealed carry reciprocity, would be top priorities for him, should he prevail on Tuesday.
“Without any doubt, the Second Amendment is under assault and we’re going to keep standing up for that,” he said.
Why Republicans Should Tout Conservation Credentials More
The Kansas congressman is an avid hunter who tries to get into the field 1-2 times a week during the season.
“I just live in the hunting mecca in the world between two wildlife refuges,” he said. “We have land besides both of those refuges.”
“Growing up, my typical Saturday afternoon—my dad was a police officer—we’d go out to the gun range once a month.”
I asked him why the GOP isn’t more open about its support for conservation. The former Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission member agreed his party needs to better tout stewardship and private property rights.
“I was taught as a young Boy Scout to leave it [the environment] better than we found it,” he remarked.
“Republicans do need to embrace this [conservation], and I think that most of us are conservationists but we don’t wear it on our shirt sleeves. We wear it in our hearts. We wear it on our actions.”
Policies like the Obama-era Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule, Marshall said, undermine progress.
“My grandfathers built terraces in the fields that helped with soil conservation, and now I walk into Congress and the government’s trying to regulate the water—puddles running off of it.”
“I’m proud to work with President Trump’s team and dial that [WOTUS] back a little bit.”
“What I’m trying to do is bring the hunting and fishing group[s] in with … more vocal conservationists,” Marshall mentioned. “The great thing about hunters and fishers, we put our money where our mouth is.”
“Every time we buy a box of shotgun shells, we’re using money towards conservation,” Marshall said of excise taxes collected on guns and ammunition through Pittman-Robertson funds.
He attributed improved environmental standards not to “a carbon tax or the federal government” but to American innovation and entrepreneurs.
He believes farmers and ranchers also play a critical role in furthering true conservation efforts.
“Farmers and ranchers don’t have a lot of cash. They don’t have money in the stock market. The inheritance they’re leaving their children is that land, and they want to make sure that future generations can run cattle and plant corn and wheat on that same land, as well.”
The “Doc”—a nod to his past profession—has also prioritized other “common-sense, problem-solving” issues including health care reform, jobs and the economy, agriculture trade, and national security.
If elected next Tuesday, Dr. Marshall intends to stay true to his conservationist roots and bring Heartland values to the Senate chamber.