A growing list of prominent Kansas Republicans are supporting Kobach's Democratic challenger, Laura Kelly, instead of their party's official nominee.
Even though he’s the official Republican nominee for governor of Kansas, Kris Kobach is having an awfully difficult time getting Kansas Republicans to endorse him.
Kobach, who currently serves as the secretary of state in Kansas, was humiliated this week when a two-term former Republican U.S. senator endorsed Kobach’s Democratic opponent, state Senator Laura Kelly.
Former Sen. Nancy Kassebaum (R-KS), who announced her support for Kelly on Tuesday, said that Kobach’s record “shows a focus on ways and how to accomplish his end goals that I think are not the best for Kansas.”
Kassbaum is just the latest major Kansas Republican to snub Kobach.
Two weeks ago, former Republican Kansas Governor Bill Graves also endorsed Kelly, saying that she “has all the qualities, all the capabilities that we’re looking for to lead the state during this difficult time.”
Just last week, Kelly announced she had the support of more than two dozen Republicans who have held office in Kansas, including Sheila Frahm, another former U.S. senator who also served as lieutenant governor of Kansas, and Dick Bond, a former Kansas Senate president.
Kobach doesn’t fare well with current Republican officeholders, either. The Kansas City Star surveyed all 95 statehouse Republicans, and only 55 of the 84 who responded said they would support Kobach. By contrast, 94 percent of statehouse Democrats say they’ll support Kelly.
That’s probably because Kobach is an extremist who has been dogged by scandal. The Cook Political Report changed the Kansas governor’s race to a “toss-up” after Kobach won the nomination, partly because even most GOP operatives see Kobach as “a flawed nominee” who would hurt the party’s chances in a normally deep-red state.
Just last month, Kobach was busted for having employed at least three white supremacists on his campaign. Kobach himself has a history of associating with white supremacists, and is a paid columnist at Breitbart, a right-wing website that has become a major platform for white nationalists.
Kobach barely squeaked by his GOP primary opponent by just a few hundred votes. And despite running as a Republican in a deep-red state, every poll taken of the race between Kelly and Kobach has shown the candidates within one point of each other.
Kris Kobach may have earned Trump’s endorsement, but Republicans in Kansas are running away from him in droves.
Published with permission of The American Independent.