Trump endorses Kobach in Kansas governor's race

Trump endorses Kobach in Kansas governor's race
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpRussia's election interference is a problem for the GOP Pence to pitch trade deal during trip to Michigan: report Iran oil minister: US made 'bad mistake' in ending sanctions waivers MORE on Monday endorsed controversial immigration hard-liner Kris Kobach for governor of Kansas.

Trump wrote in a morning tweet that Kobach is a "strong and early supporter of mine" and deserves the Republican Party's gubernatorial nod.

"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!" he tweeted.

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Trump's endorsement, which comes one day before voters in Kansas head to the polls in the hotly contested primary, is a snub to incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer (R), who took office in January after Trump nominated former Gov. Sam Brownback (R) to a State Department post.

A recent survey conducted by Kansas-based GOP polling firm Remington Research showed Kobach and Colyer tied at 32 percent in the crowded race.

The Kansas race has long been on Trump's radar, even as some Republicans advised him against endorsing Kobach in the primary over concerns that his endorsement could push Kobach through to victory, which they believe would give Democrats a chance to win a major race in a red state.

Trump's late backing of Brian Kemp in the Georgia governor's race propelled him to victory in the state's primary over the sitting lieutenant governor.

Kobach, Kansas's secretary of state, has gained a national profile for his hard-line rhetoric on immigration and his efforts to pass voter identification laws nationwide.

He served as vice chairman of Trump's voter fraud commission, which was assembled after the president claimed without evidence that millions of people illegally voted in the 2016 election and cost him the popular vote. The commission found no evidence of widespread voter fraud and was later shut down.

Kobach also won the endorsement of the president's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpTrump Jr. slams 2020 Dems as 'more concerned' about rights of murderers than legal gun owners It is wrong to say 'no collusion' Nadler: I don't understand why Mueller didn't charge Donald Trump Jr., others in Trump Tower meeting MORE, who campaigned for him last month.

Updated at 12:19 p.m.