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How Abortion Battle Could Boost Wagle's Lagging U.S. Senate Campaign

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Jim McLean
/
Kansas News Service
Kansas Republican Senate President Susan Wagle speaking to a recent anti-abortion rally at the Statehouse.

Conservative Republicans at the Kansas Statehouse are attempting to block passage of Medicaid expansion until lawmakers send a constitutional amendment on abortion to voters.

The amendment, which would overturn a recent Kansas Supreme Court ruling that declared abortion a right protected by the state’s Bill of Rights, has passed the Senate but remains a handful of votes short in the House.

The standoff has put Senate President Susan Wagle center stage and, some say, elevated her campaign for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate. It’s given her an opportunity to wage a very public fight on an issue that drives conservatives to the polls in a GOP primary.

In this episode of Statehouse Blend Kansas, host Jim McLean talks to Washburn University political scientist Bob Beatty about Wagle’s chances of winning the nomination over two better-known candidates, former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and 1st District Congressman Roger Marshall.

He also talks with Kansas News Service reporter Nomin Ujiyediin about the small steps lawmakers are considering to decriminalize marijuana.

Jim McLean is an editor and reporter for KCUR 89.3. He is the managing director of KCUR's Kansas News Service, a collaboration between KCUR and other public media stations across Kansas.