Great Bend physician Roger Marshall said Saturday he has filed with the Federal Election Commission as a candidate for the First District congressional seat now occupied by fellow Republican Tim Huelskamp of Fowler.
His statement to the Great Bend Tribune comes in advance of a planned official launch of his campaign. This will take place on an undetermined date in Great Bend.
The primary will take place in August 2016.
“I’ve had a tremendous response,” said Marshall, who has practiced as a obstetrician-gynecologist in Great Bend since 1991. He’s been testing the waters over the past six months and has visited 40 communities in the sprawling Big First which encompasses 63 counties in northern and western Kansas.
“People in the First District don’t have an representation in Washington right now,” he said. Although he said holds many of the same political views as Huelskamp, he feels Huelskamp is divisive and has lost effectiveness.
The incumbent lost his position on the House Agricultural Committee due to his combative nature, Marshall said. That hurts Kansans because that committee is crucial to the state.
He describes himself as a staunch fiscal conservative who believes in a balanced budget. “I want to leave things better than we found them,” he said.
He also wants to bring “small-town Christian values” to Washington, D.C. In addition, he sees uncertainty over such issues as the Affordable Care Act and what he sees as business-harming regulations as the biggest concerns for Americans.
But, he said, he also has the ability to set differences aside and work with both sides of the political divide. “Deep down inside, I’m a peace maker,” he said.
Why run now?
Marshall said he’s been asked to run for the office for the past six years. But, until now, family and work commitments have stood in the way.
His youngest child will graduate from Great Bend High School next May and he is no longer as actively involved in the administration at Great Bend Regional Hospital as he once was. “My life is in a good moment,” he said.
And, Marshall said he served seven years in the Army Reserves, but little of that time was spent on active duty. So now, feels obligated to pick where he left off and serve in another capacity.
“This is a great opportunity and a great challenge,” Marshall said.
Marshall earned his undergraduate degree from Kansas State University, before graduating from the University of Kansas School of Medicine. Following medical school, he completed a four-year OBGYN residency at Bayfront Medical Center (University of South Florida) in St. Petersburg, Fla.
He is the current president of the Barton County Medical Society, Vice Chairman of the Board of Farmers Bank and Trust, district governor elect for Rotary, and was appointed by the Governor of Kansas to serve as Wildlife, Parks, and Tourism commissioner and serves on the State of Kansas Ecotourism committee.
He and his wife of 30 years, Laina have four children.