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Top Kobach deputy pursuing newly open Kansas Senate seat

November 30, 2018

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s top deputy is hoping to win an appointment from fellow Republicans to a newly vacant state Senate seat.

Assistant Secretary of State Eric Rucker confirmed Friday that he is a candidate to replace GOP Sen. Vicki Schmidt of Topeka.

Schmidt resigned Friday because she was elected Kansas insurance commissioner. GOP precinct committee members in the district will decide who holds the seat through 2020. Schmidt was first elected to the Senate in 2004 and is the chairwoman of its health committee.

Another candidate for the seat is former Republican state Rep. Joe Patton. He unsuccessfully challenged Schmidt in Republican primaries in 2012 and 2016.

Rucker has been assistant secretary of state throughout Kobach’s eight-year tenure and is a former deputy Kansas attorney general.

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