Trump ally to start campaign for Kansas governor

Trump ally to start campaign for Kansas governor
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A key ally of President Trump on Thursday entered the race for the Republican nomination for governor of Kansas, according to his spokeswoman.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is formally beginning a campaign to succeed current Gov. Sam Brownback (R), Samantha Poetter confirmed to The Associated Press.

Kobach, the vice chairman of Trump’s “election integrity” commission to probe voter fraud, also launched a campaign website and changed his Twitter background to highlight his new bid.

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The AP reported that Kobach opened his campaign at Thompson Barn in Johnson County, which is Kansas’s most populous county and the home of about 22 percent of its voters.

The chairman of Kansas’s Democratic Party on Thursday warned Republicans against nominating Kobach as Brownback’s replacement.

“By nominating Kris Kobach for governor, the Republican Party would continue to endorse the failures of Sam Brownback,” John Gibson told the AP in an email statement.

“Whoever our colleagues on the other side of the aisle choose as their standard bearer, we look forward to a vigorous debate about the direction of our state.”

Brownback is term-limited heading toward Kansas’s 2018 gubernatorial race, and the AP reported there is speculation he may accept an ambassador’s position in Trump’s administration.

Wichita oil company owner Wink Hartman has been seeking the GOP’s nomination for governor of Kansas since February.

The AP reported that Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer and former state Rep. Ed O’Malley are also weighing bids for the Republican mantle in Kansas.

Former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer and former state Agriculture Secretary Joshua Svaty have previously launched bids for the Democratic nomination for governor of Kansas.

Kobach in February said he believes that “in excess of a million people” may have fraudulently voted in the 2016 presidential election.

The former aide on Trump’s transition team has earned national headlines for his tough views on illegal immigration and policing of voter fraud in Kansas.