Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who is running in his state’s primary race for governor, said he’s feeling “optimistic” about his chances, particularly after President Donald Trump endorsed him.
“With the president’s endorsement, that helps a great deal,” the Republican candidate told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.” “One of our latest polls showed 20 percent were undecided. Hopefully President Trump can help them make their minds up.”
Trump, in a tweet, said Kobach is a “fantastic guy who loves the state and our country,” called him “strong on crime, border, military,” and said he has his “full endorsement.”
However, the president’s involvement has been questioned by some Republicans who did not want Trump to endorse Kobach, widely considered a vulnerable candidate against a wide field, including incumbent Republican Gov. Jeff Colyer because of his hawkish views on immigration.
“This is definitely an establishment insider incumbent versus an insurgent conservative,” said Kobach Tuesday. “The same voices were saying President Trump shouldn’t get the nomination because there is no way to beat Hillary Clinton. He is too outspoken in his views. The same argument being made against me. I don’t think it will wash. People are excited in Kansas to do something about cutting taxes and stopping illegal immigration, my top two priorities.”
There also has been some fallout after Kobach headed Trump’s voter fraud commission, which was disbanded earlier this year, and show co-host Bill Hemmer asked if there was any fallout from that.
“Not at all,” said Kobach. “We’ve proven many cases of people who were not U.S. citizens who registered and voted in Kansas’ elections. That’s true across the country. The fallout is the people on the left who say sure, you proved a few hundred cases or in some instances a few thousand cases of people voting fraudulently but that’s not enough. It is never enough for the left. You can show them a million cases and say it is not enough cases of voter fraud to worry about it.”
Kobach also said he thinks he could win his race without Trump’s support, but still, that endorsement gave him a “huge boost.”
There are two districts in Kansas, bordering Kansas City, which are considered toss-ups, and Kobach said that’s because District 3 voted narrowly for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.
“In District 2 it is an open seat,” he said. “The Democrats are unified behind one person. There is no real contest, so o that guy is racking up tons of money. The Republicans have a very splintered contest with seven people and enter the general election race with zero dollars in the bank. People consider that an open seat because of the dynamic having a Republican with nothing in the bank.”
Kobach said he also doesn’t think something is changing in American politics.
“We have this this pattern two years into a president’s term of the mid-term election tending to go against the president’s party,” said Kobach. “It is nothing new. But I think in Kansas, due to President Trump’s popularity, I think it will be more of a referendum on President Trump in the general election this November. So I don’t think that the so-called blue wave will do much damage in Kansas. I’m very optimistic we can hold both those seats.”
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