Former UG mayor positions for U.S. Senate race

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Mark Holland, the former Democratic mayor of the Unified Government in Wyandotte County, took steps Friday to challenge Republican U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran next year.

Holland, a one-term mayor, filed a statement of organization with Federal Election Commission Friday to run against Moran. An announcement is expected Monday.

Kansas City public radio station KCUR first reported Holland’s candidacy Friday.

Holland served as mayor of the Unified Government from 2013 through 2018, but lost to current Mayor David Alvey after one term.

He prevailed in a five-person primary in 2013 and the won the general election over Ann Murguia that year.

Moran is now completing his second term. He has been in the Senate since 2011, first defeating Todd Tiahrt in a rugged 2010 primary and then cruising past Democrat Lisa Johnston in the general election.

Moran has faced nominal opposition since, winning his 2016 general election with 62% of the vote over Democrat Patrick Wiesner and Libertarian Monique Singh.

As of June 30, Moran had about $3.4 million in the bank after raising about $1 million in the first half of the year.

Holland is currrently executive director of Mainstream UMC, an advocacy organization within the United Methodist Church that supports ordination and marriage of members of the LGBTQ community.

He graduated with bachelor’s degrees from Southern Methodist University.

He also has a master’s in divinity from Iliff School of Theology in Denver and doctorate in divinity from Saint Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Missouri.