February 22, 2024

GOP US Sen. Moran expected to cruise to reelection in Kansas

FILE - U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., speaks during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing May 3, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Neither major party expects Kansas Republican Moran to have any trouble winning a third term to the U.S. Senate on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 8. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib, File)

By JOHN HANNA AP Political Writer
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Neither major party expects Kansas Republican Jerry Moran to have any trouble winning a third term to the U.S. Senate in Tuesday’s election.
Moran faced Democrat Mark Holland, the former mayor of Kansas City, Kansas, but was seen as about as safe as any incumbent GOP senator could be because of the state’s traditional Republican leanings. This year’s election marked 90 years since a Wichita prosecutor, George McGill, was the last Democrat to win a U.S. Senate race in Kansas.
Former President Donald Trump endorsed Moran early in 2021, insulating him from a serious Republican primary challenge, though Moran voted to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election the month before Trump’s endorsement. Holland won a Democratic primary in August against five other largely unknown candidates.
Moran’s career has been marked by his ability to retain the support of all factions of the Kansas Republican Party. He represented a western and central Kansas district in the House for 14 years before being elected to the Senate in 2010.
Moran has gained some visibility in Washington in recent years for his work on veterans issues. He is the top Republican on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, after serving a year as chair when the GOP held a majority. He and Democratic Sen. Jon Tester, of Montana, led a successful effort this year in their chamber to pass improved health care and disability benefits for millions of veterans exposed to toxic burn pits.
Holland is a United Methodist pastor who was elected to local office in 2007, then Kansas City, Kansas, mayor in 2013. He served one term, losing his race for reelection in 2017.