Barbara Bollier

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Barbara Bollier
Barbara Bollier cropped portrait.jpg
Member of the Kansas Senate
from the 7th district
In office
January 9, 2017 – January 11, 2021
Preceded byKay Wolf
Succeeded byEthan Corson
Member of the Kansas House of Representatives
In office
January 5, 2010 – January 9, 2017
Constituency25th district (2010–2013)
21st district (2013–2017)
Personal details
Barbara Goolsbee

(1958-01-13) January 13, 1958 (age 65)
Galveston, Texas, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic (2018–present)
Other political
Republican (before 2018)
SpouseRene Bollier
Children2, including Bobby
EducationUniversity of Kansas (BGS, MD)
WebsiteOfficial website

Barbara Goolsbee Bollier (born January 13, 1958) is an American physician and politician. From 2017 to 2021, she was a member of the Kansas Senate representing the 7th district, which includes Mission Hills, Kansas in Johnson County. Bollier is a member of the Democratic Party, after having left the Republican Party in 2018. Bollier was the Democratic nominee in the 2020 United States Senate election in Kansas, losing in the general election to Republican congressman Roger Marshall.

Early life and education[edit]

Barbara Goolsbee was born in Galveston, Texas, on January 13, 1958, while her father, Robert L. Goolsbee (1931–2015), was in his medical residency, and her mother, Betty, was a nurse, whom Goolsbee had met during an internship in Kansas City, Missouri.[1] She grew up in Fairway, Kansas, and Mission Hills, Kansas.[citation needed]

After receiving an undergraduate degree at the University of Kansas, Bollier earned a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Kansas School of Medicine. Her residency at Baylor College of Medicine was in anesthesiology; her father too had attended Baylor University.[citation needed]

Medical career[edit]

After earning her M.D., Bollier joined her father's practice at Surgicenter of Kansas City.[2]

Bollier retired from medicine in 1999.[3] She then began to volunteer with the Center for Practical Bioethics and became active with the Shawnee Mission Education Foundation Board.[2][4]

Political career[edit]

Kansas House of Representatives[edit]

Bollier’s legislative career began in 2010 when Republican precinct committee members appointed her to replace Terrie Huntington who had been appointed to the Kansas Senate.[2]

From 2010 to 2012 Bollier represented the 25th district as a Republican in the Kansas House of Representatives. She represented the 21st House district from 2013-2017.[5][6]

Bollier did not have a Republican primary challenger in 2010 or 2012. In 2014 she faced Neil Melton, who received support from the conservative groups. Bollier won, 59 percent to 41 percent.[7]

Kansas State Senate[edit]

In May 2016, Bollier ran for the Kansas Senate 7th district, after state Senator Kay Wolf announced that she was retiring.[8] Bollier won the seat by defeating Democrat Megan England, with 22,439 votes (54.3%) to 18,884 votes (45.6%).[9]

In July 2018, Kansas Senate President Susan Wagle removed Bollier as the Vice Chair of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee after she endorsed Democrat Tom Niermann's campaign for Congress.[10] In the November 2018 election, Bollier supported the Democratic candidate for governor Laura Kelly over the Republican candidate, Secretary of State Kris Kobach.[11]

On December 12, 2018, Bollier changed her party affiliation to the Democratic Party, saying: "Morally, the party is not going where my compass resides. I'm looking forward to being in a party that represents the ideals that I do, including Medicaid expansion and funding our K–12 schools."[12] Bollier said that the "breaking point" had been the Kansas Republican Party's inclusion of anti-transgender language in its platform. Bollier was one of three Kansas legislators to switch from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party in December 2018; the other two were state Representative Stephanie Clayton and state Senator Dinah Sykes.[13]

2020 U.S. Senate election[edit]

On October 16, 2019, Bollier announced that she would run in the 2020 election for the United States Senate seat being vacated by the retiring Pat Roberts.[14] The next day, former United States Attorney for Kansas Barry Grissom dropped out of the race and endorsed Bollier.[15] Grissom's withdrawal from the race came despite his having raised almost half a million dollars in contributions during the previous quarter. His departure left Bollier as the party's clear frontrunner in the primary.[16] She won the Democratic primary on August 4, 2020, with 87.5% of the vote. In the general election, she faced the Republican nominee, congressman Roger Marshall, the congressman for Kansas's 1st congressional district, who defeated Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach in the Republican primary.[17][18]

Bollier's senate candidacy was endorsed by former Democratic Governor Kathleen Sebelius.[19] The Sebelius endorsement came after Sebelius referenced Bollier's history of almost a decade of consistent support for fully funding schools, Medicaid Expansion, and the repeal of what she called former Governor Sam Brownback's "devastating tax experiment."[20]

On September 1, 2020, she published a list of 75 Republican current and former Kansas officeholders who supported her campaign.[21] Bollier was also endorsed by Nancy Kassebaum, a Republican former U.S. senator.[22] During her 2020 campaign, Bollier called for defending and expanding the Affordable Care Act. She does not support Medicare for All.[23] Bollier lost to Marshall by a 12 point margin.[24]

Personal life[edit]

While in medical school, Bollier met her husband Rene Bollier, a family medicine physician in Kansas City.[25] Their son Bobby Bollier is an American professional swimmer who was a 14-time NCAA All-American while at Stanford University before attending George Washington University Law School.

Electoral history[edit]


Democratic primary results
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Barbara Bollier 168,759 85.34%
Democratic Robert Tillman 28,997 14.66%
Total votes 197,756 100.00%
United States Senate election in Kansas, 2020
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Roger Marshall 727,962 53.22% +0.07%
Democratic Barbara Bollier 571,530 41.79% N/A
Libertarian Jason Buckley 68,263 4.99% +0.67
Total votes 1,367,755 100.00%


Kansas State Senate, District 7 General Election, 2016
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Barbara Bollier 22,439 54.30%
Democratic Megan England 18,884 45.70%
Total votes 41,323 100.0%
Republican hold


  1. ^ Anonymous, Anonymous (June 28, 2015). "Robert Leon Goolsbee M.D. 1931-2015 Obituary". Kansas City Star. Retrieved July 23, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Shorman, Jonathan (July 23, 2020). "As COVID-19 rages, Barbara Bollier melds politics and medicine in campaign for Senate". Wichita Eagle. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  3. ^ Shorman, Jonathan (October 16, 2019). "Bollier launches U.S. Senate campaign after 2018 switch from Republican to Democrat". Wichita Eagle. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  4. ^ Senter, Jay (December 13, 2019). "Former Mission Mayor Laura McConwell will run for state senate seat". Shawnee Mission Post. Retrieved August 21, 2020.
  5. ^ "The Voter's Self Defense System". Vote Smart. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
  6. ^ "Representative Barbara Bollier". Kansas Legislature; 2015–2016 Legislative Sessions. Kansas Legislative Information System and Services. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  7. ^ Senter, Jay (August 6, 2014). "Barbara Bollier, Stephanie Clayton easily fend off challenges from conservatives in NEJC House primaries". Prairie Village Post. Archived from the original on August 9, 2014. Retrieved February 14, 2014.
  8. ^ Senter, Jay. "Sen. Kay Wolf announces retirement, paving way for Mission Hills Rep. Barbara Bollier to run for District 7 seat". Shawnee Mission Post. Shawnee Mission Post. Retrieved October 7, 2016.
  9. ^ "2016 General Election Official results". Kansas Secretary of State. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  10. ^ Jay Senter (July 19, 2018). "Bollier's endorsement of Niermann leads senate president to remove her from committee leadership". Shawnee Mission Post.
  11. ^ Jay Senter (December 12, 2018). "Sen. Barbara Bollier changes party affiliation to Democrat, says Republican party morally not going where my compass resides". Shawnee Mission Post.
  12. ^ Jonathan Shorman (December 19, 2019). "Kansas Sen. Barbara Bollier, at odds with GOP over Trump, LGBT issues, turns Democrat". Kansas City Star. Retrieved January 2, 2019.
  13. ^ Jonathan Shorman (December 19, 2018). "More Kansas lawmakers switch parties: Sykes, Clayton leave GOP, become Democrats". Kansas City Star. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  14. ^ "Ex-Kansas Republican shakes up U.S. Senate race by running as 'pragmatic' Democrat". CBS News. October 16, 2019. Retrieved October 16, 2019.
  15. ^ "Barry Grissom withdraws from US Senate race, endorses Barbara Bollier". KWCH-DT. October 17, 2019. Retrieved October 17, 2019.
  16. ^ Bryan Lowry and Jonathan Shorman (October 21, 2019). "'The big enchilada': Sebelius, backing Bollier, holds power with Kansas Democrats". Wichita Eagle. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  17. ^ Geography and money will be key as Marshall and Bollier vie for Senate seat in Kansas, Wichita Eagle, Bryan Lowry and Jonathan Shorman, August 5, 2020. Retrieved August 6, 2020.
  18. ^ Kansas U.S. Senate democratic candidate discusses competition following primaries, KSNT, Lindley Lund, August 5, 2020. Retrieved August 5, 2020.
  19. ^ "Former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius endorses Barbara Bollier for Senate". KSHB. October 21, 2019. Retrieved July 24, 2020.
  20. ^ Bryan Lowry (October 21, 2019). "Former Kansas Gov. Sebelius endorses Bollier in U.S. Senate race". Wichita Eagle. Retrieved October 22, 2019.
  21. ^ U.S. Senate candidate Barbara Bollier announces 75 GOP endorsements, Shawnee Mission Post, September 1, 2020. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  22. ^ Lowry, Brian (September 7, 2020). "Former GOP Sen. Nancy Kassebaum endorses Democrat Bollier in Kansas Senate race". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  23. ^ "Dr. Marshall vs. Dr. Bollier: Kansas Senate race offers sharp contrast on health policy". Wichita Eagle. 2020.
  24. ^[bare URL]
  25. ^ "St. Joseph Family Medical Care - Kansas City Hospital". Retrieved July 22, 2020.

External links[edit]

Kansas House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the Kansas House of Representatives
from the 25th district

Succeeded by
Preceded by Member of the Kansas House of Representatives
from the 21st district

Succeeded by
Kansas Senate
Preceded by Member of the Kansas Senate
from the 7th district

Succeeded by
Party political offices
Preceded by
Chad Taylor
Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Kansas
(Class 2)

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