State Senator Barbara Bollier traveled to Emporia’s Fremont Park Friday afternoon to share policy and host a dialogue with local voters on some of the upcoming Nov. 3rd election’s most pressing issues.
Bollier, a registered Democrat who left the Republican Party in 2018, currently represents the state’s 7th district (Johnson County’s Mission Hills area) in Topeka. She is challenging Republican Roger Marshall for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by longtime Senator Pat Roberts.
A retired doctor with more than a decade of experience in the field, Bollier hopes to focus on health-based legislation if elected, having already pushed for state Medicaid expansion during her time in the statehouse.
“I’m going to be very clear,” Bollier said. “My job as a U.S. Senator from Kansas is to bring up what Kansans need and want. The number one issue I hear in this state is healthcare affordability and accessibility. I believe, from a democratic side, in supporting the Affordable Care Act, keeping private insurance in place and bringing forward a public option buy-in. Right now, we have an exchange and it’s not cheap enough.”
Bollier touched on her frustration with Marshall’s campaign, saying that she was not only concerned with the combative tone taken in many of his advertisements, but also the “misrepresentations” she believed were present on matters of healthcare and other topics.
“Roger Marshall said ‘no’ to negotiating pharmaceutical prices with drug companies,” Bollier said. “That is something that is so within our grasp and something every other country is able to do, and we need to do that. So, [for people] just voting down party lines, that’s what you’ll get. It’s hurting anybody who uses medication, which I think is probably going to be almost all of us at some point.”
Another pressing need Bollier heard during her travels was for continued funding of both K-12 and higher education in the state. During Friday’s event, she pledged to allocate the necessary funding for such areas, saying education was an avenue for improvement
“One of the things I’ve loved about being a Kansan is that we value education so deeply because that’s our path,” Bollier said. “That’s how we move forward. When I ultimately changed parties, part of it was because of this [effort] to restrain public education.”
In closing, Bollier promised she would value policy over party in Washington, just as she had strived to do during her time at the state level. Referencing her campaign signs — which feature a red and blue, double helix shape representing a relationship and necessary collaboration between republicans and democrats — she said she would have no problem working across party lines if it meant the betterment of her constituents.
“I’ve always been independent-minded,” Bollier said. “Anybody that’s worked with me will know that they might get frustrated because I’m about doing the right thing and always have been … When you distort and take everything out of context, you can make a person sound like anything, but I’m in the middle of the road [between parties]. I support education. I support equality. I support fiscal, sound budgets. I voted for balanced budgets … I’ve kept taxes low. What else can I say?”
— For more information on Bollier’s campaign, vist bollierforkansas.com.