In a what could be stunning defeat for an incumbent, Kris Kobach leads Governor Jeff Colyer in the current vote count.
Provisional ballots from Johnson County were still being counted and it is not known if that could alter Kobach’s lead which is currently under 3
The Kobach-Colyer race was considered a key test of whether President Trump’s late endorsement would prove decisive for Kobach. The race is currently much closer than polls had indicated before the Trump endorsement.
“Kris Kobach, a strong and early supporter of mine, is running for Governor of the Great State of Kansas. He is a fantastic guy who loves his State and our Country – he will be a GREAT Governor and has my full & total Endorsement! Strong on Crime, Border & Military. VOTE TUESDAY!” Trump said on Twitter.
At a late afternoon news conference in Mission on Monday, Kobach, the Secretary of State, called Trump’s endorsement “a huge boost.” Kobach said the support would help him with undecided voters ahead of the Tuesday primary.
The current governor, who took on his role in January after Gov. Sam Brownback left state politics to join the Trump administration, raised more money than Kobach, received the National Rifle Association’s endorsement, committed to his pro-life views and earned support from Kansas political legend Bob Dole.
An early supporter of Trump’s candidacy and the former chair of the president’s federal commission on voter fraud, Kobach is best-known nationally for his stance on illegal immigration and for advising the Trump administration on immigration, non-citizen voter registration and the 2020 Census. Polls of Kansans have indicated strong support for Kobach’s views on illegal immigration and securing the election process in the state.
The state’s Democratic nomination went to liberal State Sen. Laura Kelly, who defeated four other candidates in the primary. The 68-year-old has served 14 years in the Kansas Senate and is the top Democrat on the budget committee.