Sen. Kay Wolf announces retirement, paving way for Mission Hills Rep. Barbara Bollier to run for District 7 seat

Rep. Barbara Bollier will run for the Senate seat currently held by Kay Wolf, who announced her retirement.
Rep. Barbara Bollier will run for the Senate seat currently held by Kay Wolf, who announced her retirement.

Kay Wolf, the longtime Prairie Village resident who parlayed her tenure on the city council into a seat in the Kansas House of Representatives and then the Senate, has decided not to seek reelection and will retire at the end of this session.

Wolf said she and her husband arrived at the decision earlier this month after discussing the possibility of Wolf being obligated to spend another four years in Topeka during the winter months. The Wolfs own a home in Arizona where Kay’s husband Steven lives part of the year.

“This was a very difficult decision,” Wolf said. “I’ve been going back and forth about it, but after three-and-a-half years away from your spouse, you kind of feel like that is enough. Another four years would have been too much.”

Wolf said she informed the area Republican representatives — Stephanie Sawyer Clayton, Melissa Rooker and Barbara Bollier — of the decision shortly after making it. Bollier, who has seniority among the three reps, confirmed Tuesday afternoon that she had filed to run as a Republican for Wolf’s seat.

“I’m happy that Barbara will run in my seat,” Wolf said. “I know she’s excited.”

Wolf said as she looks back on her time in the Senate, she was proud of her ability to build relationships with colleagues, even those she didn’t agree with philosophically.

“I felt like I had a good relationship with the Senate president and that my opinion was valued,” she said. “The votes didn’t always come out that way. But behind the scenes we were able to come to compromises that were better than what would have been otherwise. I thought I acclimated well considering my philosophical views differ from may of my more conservative friends.”

Wolf, who first came to the seat in 2013 after Terrie Huntington decided against seeking another term, had filed for re-election back in December. She had drawn a challenge from Democrat Jerry Stogsdill, who has been actively campaigning for the seat.