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Kobach loses to Kelly in Kansas governor contest

Kobach loses to Kelly in Kansas governor contest Back to Top Live coverage: See new updates Live coverage: See new updates ...

Kobach loses to Kelly in Kansas governor contest

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Top Live coverage: See new updates Live coverage: See new updates

Democratic state Sen. Laura Kelly beat Republican Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state who helped lead the president’s now-disbanded committee on voter fraud, in the Kansas governor’s race.

Although the state is deeply conservative, Kobach’s aggressive campaign, which included a Jeep with a replica machine gun, helped tighten it.

Heading into the midterms, Republicans had unified control of Kansas, a state that has struggled for years with budget shortfalls, cutbacks to the state’s infrastructure, education a nd health care. The last elected governor, Republican Sam Brownback, left office with his state in a fiscal crisis and his approval rating in the low-20s.

The fact the governor’s race went down to the wire reflects a rebuke of Brownback’s tenure, observers have said.

Some state Republicans, eager to distance themselves from the unpopular governor’s legacy, were none too pleased when President Trump endorsed Kobach in the GOP primary, tipping the scales in his favor over sitting Gov. Jeff Colyer. Kobach has taken heat from both sides of the aisle over his work on Trump’s voter fraud commission.

On the campaign trail, Kobach said he would preserve education funding while keeping taxes low.

Kelly, who has called Kobach “Sam Brownback on steroids,” received some late-campaign momentum after being endorsed by every living former Republican governor of Kansas â€" except Brownback.

Polls are beginning to close around the country after voters made their final choices on candidates for House, Senate and many races down the ballot. Lots of Americans voted early, bringing multiple states past their 2014 early ballot levels. President Trump hit multiple states to make his closing argument, and former president Barack Obama and other Democrats did the same for their side.

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