Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said Thursday it would be “purely symbolic” if he recused himself from overseeing the tight race between himself and incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer for the Republican nomination for governor, but he will pull back if his opponent wants him to.
“As a practical matter, the secretary of state doesn’t actually do anything in the counting of votes,” Kobach told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.” “All the provisional votes are counted by the counties . . . if I recuse myself, it wouldn’t make any any difference. If my opponent wants me to, I will, but it would be purely symbolic.”
Fewer than 200 votes separate Kobach from Colyer, but more votes are expected from Johnson County, located in the eastern part of Kansas.
Kobach said Colyer has not asked him to recuse himself from the vote count.
He added the full tally of mailed-in votes will be known, which may add a few hundred votes to the mix, and next week, counties will count the provisional ballots.
“There is somewhere in excess of 8,000 provisional ballots,” Kobach said. “Two-thirds are counted. We should know by the end of next week.”
Kobach said the race could “absolutely” go either way, as there were more than 300,000 votes cast, and he and his opponent are divided by just 191 votes.
Meanwhile, he said he has no doubt President Donald Trump’s endorsement helped him, as it “helps every Republican.”
“At the end of the day you never know how many votes were swung one way or the other by that,” Kobach said. “The bottom line is, I agree with my opponent. At the end of the day we’ll join together and make sure that Kansas stays a red state.”
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