Grissom drops out of Senate race, backs Bollier

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Another well-known Democrat has dropped out of race to replace the retiring Sen. Pat Roberts and become the first non-Republican elected to the Congress' Upper Chamber in more than 80 years.

On Thursday, former U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom announced that, despite what he called "one of the strongest Senate campaigns in the history of our state, he would step aside and, instead, back a new entrant into the race: Barbara Bollier.

"If we’re going to make history in Kansas, it will require an extraordinary commitment to changing the trajectory of our country, and maybe a little bit of luck, too," he said. "I know a drawn-out primary would be unquestionably harmful and set us all back in this fight."

In his announcement, Grissom threw his support behind State Sen. Barbara Bollier, who defected from the Republican Party last year and, on Wednesday, said she would run for the soon-to-be vacant Senate seat.

"State Senator Bollier has always had the courage to put politics aside in order to do the right thing, and she was instrumental in helping stop the Brownback cuts to schools, roads and public safety," Grissom said.

Grissom's departure comes a week to the day after former Congresswoman Nancy Boyda announced she was suspending her campaign. That leaves only Bollier and Manhattan Mayor Pro Tem Usha Reddi as the only two Democratic candidates remaining.

Recently released fundraising numbers had Grissom raking in nearly a half-million dollars in the third quarter, well ahead of the $61,000 that Reddi has brought in.