Politics & Government

Will Susan Wagle run for U.S. Senate? Website reveals possible campaign

A little-noticed website suggests Wichita Republican Susan Wagle is moving closer to a run for U.S. Senate.

Wagle, the Kansas Senate president, has been weighing a bid for months. A website tweeted out by a political strategist Tuesday reveals possible campaign preparations.

“Check out Susan Wagle for Senate. I just joined,” tweeted Kent Gates, a senior strategist at BrabenderCox, a national Republican consulting and advertising firm.

The tweet came the day after former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach launched his Senate campaign.

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BrabenderCox strategist Kent Gates tweeted Tuesday about a “Susan Wagle for Senate” website.

BrabenderCox’s past clients have included Vice President Mike Pence and former presidential candidate Rick Santorum.

The tweet, which included a link, appeared to later be deleted.

The link went to a Susan Wagle for Senate page on NationBuilder, which sells fundraising and website software to political candidates. The page didn’t have any campaign content, but allowed individuals to sign up for an account.

When a reporter tried to make an account, he received an email with a footer that said “Susan Wagle for Senate · United States.” The attempt to create an account was unsuccessful.

Calls to Wagle on Tuesday weren’t immediately returned. People close to her either didn’t immediately comment or couldn’t be reached. An email to staff members of BrabenderCox wasn’t immediately answered.

“People are very excited about Susan’s potential candidacy,” said Dalton Glasscock, chair of the Sedgwick County Republican Party. He added that Wagle would be a strong candidate who could win the primary and keep the Senate seat in Republican hands.

Wagle has not filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission. She said in January she had begun exploring a Senate run, after U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts said he would not run for re-election.

“I’m deeply disappointed our elected officials in D.C. can’t fix immigration and open up the federal government doors,” Wagle said at the time.

In the new era of divided government in Kansas, Wagle has sought to make herself a key voice of opposition to the Democratic administration. Under her leadership, the Senate nearly sunk Gov. Laura Kelly’s nominee to the state’s Commerce Department and she has expressed deep reservations about Kelly’s pick to lead Kansas prisons.

If Wagle runs, she would join an expanding Republican primary field.

In addition to Kobach, State Treasurer Jake LaTurner and former Chiefs player Dave Lindstrom are running.

U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall, Kansas Chamber of Commerce president and CEO Alan Cobb and American Conservative Union president Matt Schlapp are all weighing bids, too.

On the Democratic side, former U.S. attorney Barry Grissom and former U.S. Rep. Nancy Boyda are running. State Sen. Barbara Bollier, of Mission Hills, is also considering a campaign.

Contributing: Bryan Lowry of McClatchy DC

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