Nancy Boyda

Nancy Boyda.

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP/KCTV) — A former Kansas Democratic congresswoman has dropped out of the race for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Republican Pat Roberts.

Former U.S. Rep. Nancy Boyda formed a campaign committee in June to run for the Democratic nomination next year. Former federal prosecutor and Kansas City area attorney Barry Grissom is also seeking the nomination.

Boyda represented a northeast Kansas district in the U.S. House in 2007 and 2008, ousting a Republican incumbent in 2006, only to narrowly lose the seat two years later.

She said Thursday she was leaving the Senate race to focus on bringing Kansans together at a time of civic strife without what she described as the "constraints of a partisan campaign."

Republicans haven't lost a U.S. Senate race in Kansas since 1932.

On Thursday, she sent out a press release with the announcement and added some additional comments on Facebook about withdrawing from the race. 

Her press release said: 

"From the beginning, I have been focused on one issue: healing the bitter, toxic divide in our country. At a time when we need to be addressing huge issues, we cannot even speak to each other. I am fearful our beloved country is about to split in two and I will do everything I can to keep that from happening. I dearly love this country and want it to heal and to thrive for my children and grandchildren. I am stepping aside to pursue this calling of bringing Kansas together but this time without the constraints of a partisan campaign. I am deeply honored and grateful for the support and encouragement I have received for my campaign. I intend to keep fighting the good fight." 

Additionally, she added on Facebook: 

"I just sent this press release out, with very mixed feelings. From the beginning, I've been a single-issue candidate...WE HAVE TO FIND A WAY TO BRING THIS COUNTRY TOGETHER. I have said over and over that I will not just talk about it or make promises, I will show you what that looks like. After we get the campaign shut down, I will be starting a nonprofit organization to do just that, but this time without the restraints of a partisan campaign.

I have had so, so many amazing discussions and visits all across Kansas. I can't tell you how much they have meant to me. We are truly blessed to live in Kansas.

My heartfelt thanks for the support and encouragement you have given me. I will miss being a part of this Senate race and wish Usha, Barry, and Robert all the best! We need you!"

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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