Holland runs for U.S. Senate

Mark Holland (File photo)

The Rev. Mark Holland, a former mayor of Kansas City, Kansas, announced his candidacy recently for the U.S. Senate Democratic nomination in 2022.

Holland will move beyond the political divisions and the absence of leadership to bring Kansas the solutions needed for jobs, education, and health care, according to his campaign announcement.

In a statement, Holland said: “I am running for U.S. Senate because I believe the greatest threat to our nation is the deep division within. This division is rooted in fear, lies, and extremism. From my faith tradition, the Scripture reminds us in Matthew 12:25, ‘A house divided against itself cannot stand.’ We need to put faith above fear, truth above lies, and unity above extremism.”

“Jerry Moran has shown a complete lack of leadership and courage. He has failed time and again to stand up for Kansans in these unprecedented times, whether against Covid-19, despicable lies around our election integrity, and the actions of extremist groups. Instead of leading or taking a stand, Moran hides in the shadows of others.” Holland said.

Holland stated, “As your Senator, I promise to bring faithful, bold, courageous leadership in Washington, D.C.”

A campaign spokesman said Holland held a soft launch this month, and now will spend the next 2.5 months putting together his campaign team, raising funds and getting ready to have a formal launch after the first of the year.

According to the Kansas secretary of state’s office, Michael Soetaert, a Democrat, has filed for the U.S. Senate seat in 2022.

Former Kansas City, Kansas, Mayor Mark Holland making a bid for the U.S. Senate

Mark Holland lost re-election as mayor, but he’d have a strong shot at the Democratic nomination and an underdog race in the general election against incumbent U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran.

Mark Holland (File photo)

by Steve Kraske, KCUR and Kansas News Service

Mark Holland, who served as mayor of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County from 2013 to 2017, will launch a campaign for the U.S. Senate on Monday, sources tell KCUR.

Republican Sen. Jerry Moran has held the seat since 2011.

Because of his base in heavily Democratic Wyandotte County, Holland, 52, would have a strong shot at winning his party’s nomination. The only other Democrat who has announced a campaign is Michael Soetaert of Alta Vista, Kansas, who filed in April.

On Friday, Holland declined to comment on his plans.

Holland, a United Methodist pastor, is executive director of Mainstream UMC. It’s an advocacy group within the church that supports the ordaining and marriage of LGBTQ people.

He is the former senior pastor at Trinity Community Church in Kansas City, Kansas.

Incumbent Mayor David Alvey defeated Holland in 2017 52-47% when Holland was seeking a second term. During the campaign, Alvey accused Holland of alienating public service employees, especially the Kansas City, Kansas, Fire Department.

As mayor, Holland had questioned how the department spends its budget, alienating the department’s firefighters’ union.

Holland would face a formidable challenge against Moran. Former President Trump has endorsed the senator, and Kansas remains a solidly red state that hasn’t sent a Democrat to the Senate since the 1930s.

The Kansas News Service is a collaboration of KCUR, Kansas Public Radio, KMUW and High Plains Public Radio focused on health, the social determinants of health and their connection to public policy.
Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished by news media at no cost with proper attribution and a link to ksnewsservice.org.
See more at https://www.kcur.org/news/2021-10-01/former-kansas-city-kansas-mayor-mark-holland-is-making-a-bid-for-the-u-s-senate

A Holland for Senate organizational committee filing document is online at the FEC at https://docquery.fec.gov/pdf/184/202110019467155184/202110019467155184.pdf

Campaign poll: Kelly holds slim margin over Schmidt in Kansas governor’s race

Democratic governor’s job approval at 53%; GOP attorney general’s at 40%

by Tim Carpenter, Kansas Reflector

Topeka — An early survey in the 2022 election cycle shows Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly with a narrow advantage over Republican Attorney General Derek Schmidt in a head-to-head gubernatorial showdown of two statewide officeholders gearing up for that campaign.

The poll by Clarity Campaign Labs, a liberal-leaning firm in Washington, D.C., at the behest of EMILY’s List, which promotes Democratic women candidates, indicated Kelly had a 3 percentage point advantage on Schmidt. Kelly held support of 47% of participants to Schmidt’s 44% in a survey with a 3.4% margin of error.

Kelly attracted backing from 83% of voters who considered themselves ideologically moderate and 21% who viewed themselves as somewhat conservative.

Laphonza Butler, newly appointed president of EMILY’s List, said Kelly had proven herself a champion of women and families during a period of unprecedented health and economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Butler expressed confidence in Kelly’s path to re-election.

“The numbers tell us that Kansans appreciate her leadership,” Butler said. “A majority of Kansans across party lines approve of Governor Kelly’s performance in office throughout her first term.”

Kelly and the Kansas Democratic Party have sought to convince voters the state’s economy was in a strong position. The governor has touted expansion in business investment and associated job growth. She says she was integral to achieving proper funding of K-12 public schools, restoring stability to the state’s transportation program and overhauling the child welfare system.

The Kansas Republican Party and Schmidt have argued Kelly fumbled the state’s response to COVID-19. They’ve asserted she responded to the pandemic by unnecessarily closing businesses, imposing mask mandates and limiting the size of gatherings at places of worship. In addition, the Kansas GOP has sought to nationalize the governor’s race by taking issue with policies embraced by President Joe Biden.

The survey taken more than one year prior to next year’s general election revealed 53% of respondents approved of the job Kelly had done as governor with 41% disapproving of her performance. Across the political spectrum, 27% of self-identified Republicans expressed approval of her track record as governor since 2019 along with 69% of independents and 94% of self-identified Democrats.

In terms of Schmidt, the pollsters said 40% of participants approved and 42% disapproved of his performance as attorney general. During the GOP primary campaign, Schmidt has sought to convince Republicans of his conservative credentials and eagerness to push back against policies of Biden.

In 2018, Kelly defeated the Republican nominee, Secretary of State Kris Kobach, by securing 47.8% of the vote. Kobach had prevailed in back-to-back statewide campaigns for secretary of state, but couldn’t translate high name recognition and a GOP registration advantage into victory in the governor’s race.

Kelly’s first campaign for governor emphasized unpopularity of former Gov. Sam Brownback, who had stepped down to work in the administration of President Donald Trump. Instead of distancing himself from Brownback, Kobach advocated resumption of the Brownback economic experiment that centered on slashing state income taxes. Spending wasn’t reduced a comparable amount under Brownback and the state struggled with budget problems until his tax program was repealed in 2017.

In her campaign for governor, Kelly asserted Brownback’s leadership jeopardized the state’s education and highway systems and undermined the safety net for vulnerable Kansas. She also said Kobach was “Sam Brownback on steroids.”

The survey for EMILY’s List showed Brownback remained unpopular among Kansas voters. In this poll, 17% said they were in favor of returning to Brownback-era policies. At the same time, 56% of respondents wanted to “go in a different direction” than policy championed by Brownback.

Overall, 30% approved of how Brownback did his job as governor and 62% disapproved of his performance as the state’s chief executive.

The telephone survey of 810 registered voters in Kansas was conducted Sept. 13-15. The sample was weighted by the polling firm to reflect a likely 2022 general electorate. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.45%.

Kansas Reflector stories, www.kansasreflector.com, may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

See more at https://kansasreflector.com/2021/09/24/campaign-poll-kelly-holds-slim-margin-over-schmidt-in-kansas-governors-race/.