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!"

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