Rolling into Garden City

Meghan Flynn
U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall speaks to those gathered for a Garden City stop of the Keep Kansas Great Bus Tour on Sunday at Wind River Grain.

The Keep Kansas Great Bus Tour stopped in Garden City on Sunday.

In an interview prior to the event, Rep. Roger Marshall, a U.S. Senate candidate for Kansas, said the tour is a Kansas tradition that goes back to the Whistle Stop Train Tours of the past.

“It was a way to campaign across the country, across the state,” he said. “Unfortunately we don't really have a train system now that the short lines that allow public transportation. So this bus tour is kind of that old Whistle Stop tradition.”

The bus tour allows Kansans to meet their candidates, Marshall said. There voters can get to know the candidates and the candidates themselves get a chance to listen to the voters.

“This is as much of a listening tour as it is a talking tour, just one more chance for us to get out there and say hi to a lot of friends and make some new friends, we hope,” he said.

Candidates who attended the stop in Garden City include Marshall and Tracey Mann, candidate for Kansas’s 1st Congressional District.

Marshall got into politics in 2015 when he decided to run for Congress. He was elected in the 2016 general election as Kansas’ representative for the 1st Congressional District.

Marshall said he decided to run for U.S. Senate in this election because people have asked him to and he feels that “our values are being threatened by this left, socialist agenda.”

“I feel like Joe Biden and the Democrat Party are wanting to take away our freedoms of speech, our freedoms of religion, our second amendment, that they have promised to raise our taxes, they want more government control of the economy, more government control of health care, more government control of the energy sector,” he said. “Somebody has to go fight them to protect our Kansas values.”

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and former Gov. Jeff Colyer also attended and spoke at the tour.

Colyer said it’s important for people to know who important the election is because they need to have good representation in all aspects of government from city commissions to county commissions, state legislators and federal representatives.

“Having Roger Marshall and Tracey Mann are going to be very important for supporting President Trump,” he said. “It's important that we get him back in ... It's important that we have people who have passion but also have the ability to get things done.”

Schmidt agreed, saying it’s important that the state does not backslide and lose Republican representatives and that the GOP needs to increase that number so Republicans have a two-thirds majority in both the Kansas House of Representatives and Senate.

“Two-thirds is the magic number that allows us to govern despite objections from the governor's office,” he said. “We're not quite there at this point in time, at least not a functioning two-thirds, and it is critical that we have the ability to govern despite objections from our current governor.”