Political action committees aligned with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Emily’s List, a pro-choice group, paid a dark money group $5.3 million in a failed bid to shape the results of the Kansas Republican Senate primary, according to campaign finance records released Thursday night.
A mysterious super PAC called Sunflower State popped up in June and began a relentless media campaign in Kansas aimed at portraying Republican Rep. Roger Marshall as insufficiently conservative compared to his opponent, former Kansas Sec. of State Kris Kobach.
Democrats apparently saw an easier path to victory in November against Kobach, who lost the 2018 race for governor to Laura Kelly, a Democrat. Sunflower State’s effort failed, as Marshall won a decisive victory over Kobach in the state’s primary on Aug. 4. (RELATED: GOP Rep Roger Marshall Wins Kansas Senate Primary)
Sunflower State’s funders remained a mystery until Thursday, when the group filed its finance records with the Federal Election Committee.
The records show that the Senate Majority PAC gave $3,550,000 to Sunflower State, and Women Vote! provided another $1,750,000 in funding.
Senate Majority PAC, founded in 2010, is closely aligned with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Its goal in elections matches its name: to win a Democratic majority in the 100-seat Senate.
The group has hoped to pick up the seat in Kansas, which is being vacated by Sen. Pat Roberts, a Republican.
Women Vote!, an offshoot of pro-choice group Emily’s List, says its goal is to elect pro-choice Democratic women.
Marshall, who represents a House district in western Kansas, will square off in November against Barbara Bollier, a Kansas state senator who represents a suburban district outside of Kansas City.
Sunflower State paid out nearly all of its revenue to two Virginia-based campaign advertising companies, Moore Campaigns and Old Town Media, the FEC records show.
The Senate Majority PAC weighed in on Marshall’s victory on Aug. 5, but did not acknowledge its role in the primary.
“Marshall stumbles out of the bitter primary bruised and with little cash left on hand to rebrand his image. While in Washington, Marshall has turned his back on Kansans and refused to protect those with pre-existing conditions and looked out for special interests instead,” the group said in a statement at the time.
The Senate Majority PAC and Women Vote! did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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