Kansas governor calls on GOP rival Kobach to stop advising election officials

Kansas governor calls on GOP rival Kobach to stop advising election officials
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Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer has called on Secretary of State Kris Kobach to stop advising county election officials until their close Republican gubernatorial primary is settled.

The Associated Press reported Thursday that Colyer made the request in a letter that accuses Kobach of giving guidance that is “inconsistent with Kansas law” in regards to handling mailed-in and other ballots. 

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In the letter, Colyer asked for Attorney General Derek Schmidt (R) to give advice to county election officials.

The letter comes as Kobach's lead over Colyer has narrowed in the race for the GOP nomination for governor.

After officials noticed a discrepancy in Colyer's totals in Thomas County, Kan., it was reported that Kobach's lead dropped from 191 votes to 91 votes on Thursday. 

Kansas elections director Bryan Caskey told the AP that officials noticed the discrepancy during a routine post-election review of voting totals.

Many have called for Kobach, who received an endorsement from President TrumpDonald John TrumpMattis defends reversing his stance on Trump's 'Space Force' Pelosi: Trump engages in racism 'constantly' Tom Steyer: Pelosi is wrong about Trump impeachment push MORE, to recuse himself if a recount were to take place. But Kobach has pushed back, saying Wednesday that while his office oversees recounts, it does not directly participate in vote-counting, according to The Kansas City Star.

Colyer would be allowed to request a state-funded recount if the margin between the two candidates is less than 0.5 percentage points.

The primary race between Colyer and Kobach has received widespread attention because of the support Trump has lended to the Kansas secretary of State. 

Republicans have reportedly worried that Kobach's hard-line views on immigration and voting rights could potentially alienate more-centrist Republicans and give Democrats a chance to win the seat in the fall.