As the race tightens, Democratic candidate for one of Kansas’ U.S. Senate seats Barbara Bollier came to Manhattan for a Lawn Chair Chat.
Though it was a chilly morning, Bollier said she was excited to be in Manhattan visiting with Kansans who “want something different.”
Bollier focused on her campaign platforms of honesty and integrity. She also took a couple hits at her Republican opponent Roger Marshall, who recently sent out a series of attack advertisements against her. Marshall was elected twice to represent Kansas’ first congressional district, which includes Riley County, with more than 60 percent of the vote.
“I could not be more saddened to watch my opponent give mistruths again and again and again about me,” Bollier said. “He needs to be able to stand on his own, like I do, and what I will bring to the table.”
Current polls from The Kansas City Star show Bollier and Marshall within single digits of each other, placing both candidates within the margin of error. On Wednesday, the Bollier campaign said she was two points ahead of Marshall.
While Bollier’s visit in Manhattan was meant to address voter questions, many wondered if the campaign is prepared to lose like Sen. Pat Roberts’ independent challenger did in 2016.
“When Pat Roberts was polling neck-and-neck with his opponent, he was running against an independent,” Bollier said. “I’m a Democrat. We have a party. And what I will tell you is I think the opposite is about to occur. I hope Roger Marshall is prepared.”
Questions from the community focused on current Democratic platforms, as well as Bollier’s campaign priorities, including healthcare, agriculture, defense and education. Bollier also touched on her jump from the Republican party to the Democratic party and her focus on inter-party cooperation.
“We need leadership in Washington that’s willing to put party differences aside and say, ‘What is right for the people? What are they telling me? Let’s work together and get it done,'” Bollier said. “I am here asking for your support and vote to do that very thing. Kansans need to be able to say, ‘I am proud of the person representing us because … she listens to the people of Kansas … and proud to say finally our government is working again for the people.’”
During her time in Manhattan, Bollier also visited to the Kansas Energy Program located in the Unger Complex. The campaign heard from energy specialist David Carter and his team about K-12 energy education, energy sustainability and what they need from lawmakers to continue their work.
“Whatever our infrastructure is, we’ve got to take care of it,” Bollier said. “Not just maintain it, we’ve got to build it up and make it more green, and it’s a perfect opportunity right now.”
The Lawn Chair Chat didn’t attract many K-State students, but young voters still turned out. Bollier stressed the need for young people to show up Nov. 3 and vote with their interests in mind. They can change the outcome of this election, she said.
“It is time folks, this is your world. If you want people who actually follow science, and admit there’s climate change, and are willing to work together and want equality for all. … We can and must do better, and their vote will make a difference,” Bollier said. “[Manhattan] is a thriving place with an incredible university. We have great opportunities. We have to get those kinds of things done, and it takes a candidate like me.”