Pruitt sees a lane for his candidacy, even with Marshall and Kobach in race

A long-shot candidate for the U.S. Senate seat held by Pat Roberts believes there is a lane for someone to run against Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach while not appearing to be against President Donald Trump.

“The Trump administration has distanced itself from Kris Kobach,” said Brian Pruitt, a Wichita native and conservative pundit who has filed to run for the seat. “The National Republican Senatorial Committee basically issued a press release on the day Mr. Kobach announced, saying that if he were to win the nomination, that it would put Mitch McConnell’s majority at risk and put in peril the legacy of the Trump presidency.”

Even though Kobach and Dr. Roger Marshall, who announced on Saturday, are clearly ahead in the polls, that doesn’t dissuade Pruitt, who plans to use the whole 11 months between now and the August 2020 primary to build momentum.

“We want to slowly but surely increase our name ID, so that people understand that there is a choice in this race,” said Pruitt. “As the new year comes and we get through the state Party convention and we get a lot more attention, then we start to roll out all of our issue-specific policy positions. I think we have enough time to really create a lot of good will among Kansans, so they know that we’re ready to fight for them.”

Pruitt also has an opinion about which side of the state line the U.S. Department of Agriculture should put its offices on when it moves to Kansas City.

“It behooves the Department of Agriculture to locate that facility on the Kansas side,” said Pruitt. “Especially where our campaign is headquartered, in Manhattan, there are huge Department of Agriculture resources there and I think Kansas has an opportunity to really create, I guess what would best be considered a multiplier effect by having those employees on our side of the river.”

Pruitt is running along with Marshall, Kobach, Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle and former Kansas City Chiefs player Dave Lindstrom for the Republican nomination for Roberts’ seat in 2020.