By Steve Kraske, KCUR Radio
Mark Holland, who served as mayor of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County from 2013 to 2017, will launch a campaign for the U.S. Senate on Monday, sources tell KCUR.
Kansas Republican Senator Jerry Moran has held the seat since 2011.
Because of his base in heavily Democratic Wyandotte County, Holland, 52, would have a strong shot at winning his party’s nomination. The only other Democrat who has announced a campaign is Michael Soetaert of Alta Vista, Kansas, who filed in April.
On Friday, Holland declined to comment on his plans.
Holland, a United Methodist pastor, is executive director of Mainstream UMC. It’s an advocacy group within the church that supports the ordaining and marriage of LGBTQ people.
He is the former senior pastor at Trinity Community Church in Kansas City, Kansas.
Incumbent Mayor David Alvey defeated Holland in 2017 52-47% when Holland was seeking a second term. During the campaign, Alvey accused Holland of alienating public service employees, especially the Kansas City, Kansas, Fire Department.
As mayor, Holland had questioned how the department spends its budget, alienating the department’s firefighters’ union.
Holland would face a formidable challenge against Moran. Former President Trump has endorsed the senator, and Kansas remains a solidly red state that hasn’t sent a Democrat to the Senate since the 1930s.