Jerry Moran has Democratic opponents for 2022. He also has $4M+ and a Trump endorsement on his side.
U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran has maintained a healthy war chest ahead of what is expected to be a straightforward re-election battle, though at least one Democrat has emerged to challenge the two-term lawmaker.
Filings with the Federal Elections Commission on Friday show Moran raised more than $800,000 between the beginning of July and the end of September, along with a joint fundraising committee that raised an additional $500,000. That leaves him with over $4.1 million in reserves — a healthy amount of money in the bank with more than a year until the November 2022 general election.
Former Kansas City mayor Mark Holland enters as Democrat candidate
The news comes as Moran picked up a second Democrat challenger in the race. Former Kansas City, Kan., mayor Mark Holland filed documents with the FEC earlier this month setting up a run, with Holland formally announcing his campaign days later.
Holland served as mayor from 2013 to 2017, when he lost re-election to current Mayor David Alvey. Holland is a United Methodist minister and leads an advocacy group within the church to push for change in its hierarchy, as well as LGBT rights and other issues.
"Jerry Moran has shown a complete lack of leadership and courage," Holland said in a Facebook post announcing his candidacy. "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."
The other Democrat in the race is Michael Soetaert, an Alta Vista resident who has filed with both the FEC and the Kansas Secretary of State's office for the run.
Odds of Republican primary challenger drop as Trump endorses Jerry Moran
Unlike the heated fight for former U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts' seat in 2020, won by U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall, Moran's re-election is expected to be much more straightforward. He won re-election in 2016 comfortably, defeating Democrat Patrick Wiesner by 30 points.
The stiffest challenge for Moran was likely to be in the primary election, with some grumbling among Republicans after he voted to certify President Joe Biden's victory in the 2020 election, with former Secretary of State Kris Kobach among those saying they were disappointed in his actions.
Members of the Clay County Republican Party even voted to censure Moran for the move, although few, if any, other chapters appeared to join them.
The odds of a primary challenger dipped significantly in April, when former President Donald Trump endorsed Moran's candidacy, saying he "is doing a terrific job for the wonderful people of Kansas."
U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids maintains funding advantage in 2022 campaign
Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, D-Kan., maintained a fundraising advantage over Republican challenger Amanda Adkins in what is expected to be a competitive race for the 3rd Congressional District.
Davids pulled in $828,547 last quarter, with $1.7 million cash on hand. Adkins, meanwhile, raised $286,380, with her cash on hand at $749,000.
Fundraising reports for state-level candidates, including the competitive governor's race between incumbent Gov. Laura Kelly and GOP Attorney General Derek Schmidt, likely won't come until January, with candidates required to file reports one report annually, unlike their federal counterparts.
The article has been updated to clarify that Michael Soetart has filed with both the FEC and the Kansas Secretary of State's office for his Senate campaign.
Andrew Bahl is a senior statehouse reporter for the Topeka Capital-Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 443-979-6100.