Republicans Are Bailing On Kobach
40% of GOP Legislators Refuse to Back Kobach
Kris Kobach has a new problem: Republicans.
After a contentious primary in Kansas that Kobach only won by 343 votes, tensions are still boiling over.
Last week, former Republican governor Bill Graves shunned Kobach to endorse Democratic nominee Laura Kelly.
And yesterday, the Kansas City Star reported that 40 percent of Republican legislators in Kansas refuses to say whether they’d support their party’s nominee
Four more Republican legislators have explicitly said they will not support him.
Read more on the tensions in the Kansas GOP below:
Kansas GOP lawmakers’ silence on whether they support Kobach angers some within party
Kris Kobach may be the chosen standard-bearer for the Kansas Republican Party, but elected GOP officials are less than unified behind him in his run for governor.
Almost 40 percent of Republicans in the Kansas Legislature, when asked whether they will support Kobach in November, either would not say or did not respond to repeated inquiries. Four moderate Republicans, all from Johnson County, have said they will not support Kobach.
Kobach beat Gov. Jeff Colyer by just 343 votes in the August primary. Conservatives in the state GOP have been critical in recent weeks of moderates who aren’t supporting the party’s nominee. That split was further shown when former Gov. Bill Graves, the last moderate Republican to serve as governor, endorsed Democratic State Sen. Laura Kelly in the race against Kobach.
Another high-ranking centrist would not say whether he would vote for Kobach, though he endorsed Colyer in the Republican primary.
“I haven’t made a decision yet,” said Senate Vice President Jeff Longbine, an Emporia Republican.
All four of the Republicans who have said they will not support Kobach are from Johnson County. Sen. Barbara Bollier, a Mission Hills Republican, said earlier this summer she’d support Kelly.
“I don’t understand why not, why they won’t,” Bollier said about moderates not coming out against Kobach. “It’s hard for me to understand. It’s about being electable, they believe, and for me it’s about doing the right thing for the state.”
“And (Kobach) wants to go right back to cutting everything,” Bollier said. “We already know that didn’t work.”