Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who made a name for himself leading a commission to root out voter fraud for President Trump, has lost his own election for governor to Democratic opponent Laura Kelly on Tuesday.
Polls in the weeks leading up to the election had shown Kobach and Kelly locked in a virtual tie – with Kobach often just a couple points ahead. The result is an upset, given that Kansas, which voted for Trump by more than 20 percent, hasn’t had a Democratic governor since 2010.
Kelly, a Democratic member of the Kansas Senate, has represented the state’s 18th Congressional District since 2005. In her campaign, Kelly went after Kobach for his hard-line views on immigrants and support of restrictive voting laws.
Kobach became a national figure for his outspoken support of Trump. Trump appointed Kobach to head the controversial “Voter Fraud Commission,” which was created to investigate Trump’s unfounded claims that millions of illegal immigrants had voted in the 2016 election. The commission was disbanded after six months when it turned up no evidence to support this claim.
His defeat will be a blow for Trump, who traveled to Kansas to stump for him.
Kobach, who is affiliated with the legal arm of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a hard-line anti-immigrant group, has been the architect of some of the most anti-immigrant laws in the county.
He helped Arizona officials write a law that permitted law enforcement to stop immigrants and interrogate them about their immigration status which was later partially overturned by the Supreme Court.
Cover: U.S. President Donald Trump greets Kansas gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach during a rally in Topeka, Kansas, on October 6, 2018. (Photo by Nicholas Kamm / AFP)