Bob Dole endorses incumbent in Kansas gubernatorial primary, opposing Trump

Bob Dole endorses incumbent in Kansas gubernatorial primary, opposing Trump
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Former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole (R) endorsed Gov. Jeff Colyer (R) in the state's Tuesday Republican gubernatorial primary, a split with President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House sued over lack of sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings Wife blames Trump, lack of masks for husband's coronavirus death in obit: 'May Karma find you all' Trump authorizes reduced funding for National Guard coronavirus response through 2020 MORE, who hours earlier backed Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R).

Dole, the 1996 GOP presidential nominee, tweeted his support for Colyer, whom he called "our best choice to win tomorrow AND in the fall."

Dole's focus on Colyer's ability to win the general election in November served as a veiled dig at Trump's endorsement of Kobach, who many Republicans worry could alienate more centrist voters and cost the party the general election in the reliably red state.

Colyer and Kobach are widely considered the two front-runners in Tuesday's crowded GOP primary field.

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Kobach, an early supporter of Trump's, has gained a national profile for his hard-line rhetoric on immigration and his efforts to pass voter identification laws nationwide.

He was the vice chairman of the president's since-disbanded commission to investigate unfounded claims of voter fraud in the 2016 election.

Colyer has served as governor since 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, each getting the support of 32 percent of likely GOP primary voters polled.

Dole was the lone former GOP presidential nominee who supported Trump up through the 2016 election.

Trump praised Dole during remarks in January at a ceremony honoring the former chairman of the Republican National Committee and decorated Army veteran with the Congressional Gold Medal.