MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) -- A conservative Republican commentator in Kansas has abandoned his campaign for the U.S. Senate to run for the state Legislature instead.
Bryan Pruitt said Friday that he would seek the GOP nomination for the Senate in the Manhattan-area 22nd District. The seat is currently held by two-term Democratic Sen. Tom Hawk of Manhattan.
Pruitt said he realized in campaigning for the U.S. Senate that he could accomplish more in Kansas. He had acknowledged that his bid for the higher office was a long shot.
Other Republicans running for the U.S. Senate seat include U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall of western Kansas, former Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle and Kansas City-area businessman Dave Lindstrom.
Pruitt returned to Kansas from Washington, D.C., last year and noted in running for the U.S. Senate that he would have been the first openly gay senator from Kansas if elected. He is a Wichita native but based his U.S. Senate campaign in Manhattan.
Pruitt's decision sets up a primary race for the Kansas Senate seat. Craig Bowser, of Manhattan, the leader of a nonprofit group that helps train veterans to become farmers and ranchers, also is running.