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The Latest: Schwab is GOP nominee for Kansas elections post

August 8, 2018
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In a Friday, July 31, 2018 photo, Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer arrives with his family to advance vote at Hilltop Learning Center in Overland Park, Kansas. (John Sleezer/The Kansas City Star via AP)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Latest on the primary election in Kansas (all times local):

Kansas state Rep. Scott Schwab, best known as the father of a boy who died in a Kansas City water park accident, has won the Republican primary for secretary of state.

Schwab prevailed in a five-person race Tuesday for the GOP nomination. He is the Kansas House speaker pro tem and has served 14 years in the Legislature.

His 10-year-old son, Caleb, was killed in August 2016 while riding on what was billed as the world’s tallest waterslide at the Schlitterbahn park in Kansas City, Kansas.

Schwab is from Olathe and will face Democrat Brian McClendon, a former Uber and Google executive from Lawrence.

The GOP hasn’t lost a secretary of state’s race since 1948.

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1:10 a.m.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Gov. Jeff Colyer have sent their supporters home from their election night watch parties and are waiting to see which one of them wins their tight Republican primary race.

Kobach and Colyer were virtually tied atop a seven-candidate field early Wednesday.

Most outstanding results were from Johnson County in the Kansas City suburbs. It has nearly 23 percent of the state’s voters.

The Kobach and Colyer campaigns said they did not expect to see full, unofficial results until later Wednesday morning. Kobach was at a Topeka hotel, while Colyer was in Overland Park.

Kansas has no automatic recount and if a recount is requested it must be paid for by the candidate requesting it.

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12:20 a.m.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Gov. Jeff Colyer are awaiting results from the state’s most populous county to determine which one wins the Republican nomination for governor.

Kobach and Colyer were virtually tied atop a seven-candidate field early Wednesday.

Most outstanding results were from Johnson County in the Kansas City suburbs. It has nearly 23 percent of the state’s voters.

Kansas has no automatic recount and if a recount is requested it must be paid for by the candidate requesting it.

The race was a test of whether President Donald Trump’s late endorsement can push his ally Kobach to victory. Kobach has advised the White House and served as vice chairman of a now-disbanded presidential commission on election fraud.

Colyer became governor in January, succeeding Sam Brownback.

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12 a.m.

Army veteran Steve Watkins has won the Republican nomination in the 2nd Congressional District of eastern Kansas in his first run for political office.

Watkins, from Topeka, prevailed Tuesday in a field of seven candidates that included four state legislators and a former Kansas House speaker.

He will face Democrat Paul Davis in the November election. Davis is a Lawrence attorney and a former Kansas House minority leader who narrowly lost the 2014 governor’s race to Republican incumbent Sam Brownback.

Watkins won after his physician-father formed a political action committee that spent at least $570,000 to help him. The younger Watkins also emphasized his outsider status and military service in Afghanistan.

The 2nd District seat is open because five-term Republican incumbent Lynn Jenkins did not seek re-election.

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10:55 p.m.

A Kansas official says long lines at some polling places delayed the reporting of election results in the state’s most populous county.

State elections director Bryan Caskey said Tuesday night that some polling places in Johnson County remained open until about 8 p.m. to accommodate people who were in line to vote when polls officially closed at 7 p.m.

He said that led local officials to delay reporting their first results, from votes cast in advance.

Johnson County has nearly 408,000 registered voters, or almost 23 percent of the state’s total of 1.8 million.

The delay in reporting results came as Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Gov. Jeff Colyer were locked in a tight race for the Republican nomination for governor.

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10:30 p.m.

Rep. Kevin Yoder has won an easy victory in the Republican primary in Kansas and heads into a competitive race in his swing congressional district in the Kansas City area.

Yoder defeated two underfunded rivals Tuesday in the 3rd District. Lenexa information technology consultant Trevor Keegan ran as a moderate but raised little money. Joe Myers of Overland Park didn’t mount a campaign.

The four-term congressman’s big battle will be in November. Six Democrats sought to challenge him.

Yoder has been targeted since fall 2016, when Democrat Hillary Clinton narrowly carried the district over Donald Trump in the presidential race. Yoder won a closer-than-expected race against an unknown Democrat.

Trump tweeted his “full and total endorsement” of Yoder last month.

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9:30 p.m.

James Thompson has won the Democratic nomination for a congressional seat in Kansas that he first sought last year in a special election after now Secretary of State Mike Pompeo joined the Trump administration.

The Wichita Democrat advances to a November matchup with Republican Rep. Ron Estes.

Thompson, a Wichita civil rights attorney, held Estes to a single-digit victory in the nation’s first congressional special election last year after President Donald Trump took office. Thompson defeated Laura Lombard in the Democratic primary.

Democratic socialist rising star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez traveled to Wichita during the race to join Sen. Bernie Sanders at a campaign event for Thompson as Democrats look to flip a congressional seat once considered safely Republican.

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9:20 p.m.

A veteran Kansas legislator has won the Democratic primary for governor after stressing her Statehouse experience and fending off questions about her voting record.

State Sen. Laura Kelly of Topeka defeated former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer, former Kansas Agriculture Secretary Joshua Svaty and two other candidates Tuesday.

The 68-year-old Kelly has served 14 years in the Senate and is the top Democrat on the budget committee. She stressed those credentials in running and suggested that she was best able to fix problems created by Republican policies.

She faced criticism from Svaty and Brewer for votes she made in representing a GOP-leaning district for looser gun laws and for some of the nation’s toughest voter identification requirements.

But she also had the backing of former two-term Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

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9 p.m.

Rep. Ron Estes has won the GOP nomination for a congressional seat he first won in a tougher-than-expected special election last year for the Wichita-area seat formerly held by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The Kansas congressman complained during this year’s GOP primary race that he was the target of a political trick after a candidate who shares his name and hometown filed to run against him in the Republican primary.

The other Ron M. Estes from Wichita on the August ballot describes himself on his website as a first-time candidate and father of two.

Rep. Ron Estes was the former two-term state treasurer.

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8:50 p.m.

U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall has won the Republican primary in the sprawling rural 1st District of western and central Kansas.

He advances for a November matchup against Democrat Alan LaPolice of Clyde in the heavily Republican agricultural district.

Marshall, a Great Bend physician, first gained national attention in 2016 for knocking off then Rep. Tim Huelskamp in the Republican primary for the seat.

Democrats did not have a candidate in 2016, but LaPolice launched a long-shot bid as an independent. LaPolice, an educator, is taking another shot at it this year running as a Democrat.

While the district strongly supported President Donald Trump in 2016, some worry tougher immigration policies make it harder to fill agricultural jobs. Marshall wants to couple border-security measures with changes in visas for guest farm workers.

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8:45 p.m.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and Gov. Jeff Colyer are locked in a close Republican primary race.

Colyer and Kobach topped a seven-candidate GOP field in Tuesday’s election. President Donald Trump tweeted a full endorsement of Kobach on Monday.

Kobach is nationally known for advocating tough policies on illegal immigration and strict voter identification laws. He served as vice chairman of Trump’s now-disbanded commission on election fraud after advising Trump’s 2016 campaign and the White House.

Colyer had endorsements from Kansas political icon Bob Dole and the National Rifle Association in his quest to remain in office after becoming governor in January.

In the Democratic primary, state Sen. Laura Kelly of Topeka held a lead over former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer and ex-Kansas Agriculture Secretary Joshua Svaty.

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6:15 p.m.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says unifying the Republican party ahead of the November election would be the most important task for Gov. Jeff Colyer if he loses to Kobach in Tuesday’s primary.

Kobach was Colyer’s most serious challenger in a seven-person race Tuesday for the Republican nomination for governor. President Donald Trump tweeted his endorsement of Kobach on Monday.

If Colyer were to lose the primary, he would remain governor until January, when a new governor would be sworn in.

Kobach told reporters Tuesday afternoon that he doubts the governor would face major policy decisions before January, making GOP unity the big task.

Colyer was seeking a full, four-year term after becoming governor in January after former GOP Gov. Sam Brownback stepped down to take an ambassador’s post.

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3:15 p.m.

Some Republican voters in Kansas said President Donald Trump’s endorsement of Secretary of State Kris Kobach mattered to them as they cast votes in the GOP primary for governor on Tuesday.

Tanya Hein, a 53-year-old seventh grade math teacher from Wichita, said she always planned to vote for Kobach but Trump’s endorsement was “icing on the cake.”

She said Colyer was part of former Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration and she wanted someone with experience who was not tied to Brownback.

Richard Cronister, a 73-year-old retired construction company owner from Topeka, also said Trump’s endorsement was important to him.

He said he thinks Trump’s tax cuts have helped the economy and likes Trump’s stance against illegal immigration.

He added that he likes Kobach’s style: “It’s refreshing to hear a politician tell the truth.”

2:40 p.m.

Some Democratic Kansas voters were drawn to the polls not by the closely-watched governor’s race, but by a contested race in the 3rd Congressional District. Six candidates are vying to take on incumbent GOP Rep. Kevin Yoder, who narrowly won in 2016 in a district won by Hillary Clinton in the presidential election.

Caroline Johnson, a 20-year-old student from Mission, says she voted Tuesday largely to support labor lawyer Brent Welder of Bonner Springs in the race, because Welder was backed by Sen. Bernie Sanders. She says Welder would bring “a fresh new face to government.”

But Sarah Plunkett, a 75-year-old retiree from Overland Park, says she voted for Tom Niermann, in part because he is a teacher and supports common-sense gun control. She says she’s also motivated by dissatisfaction with President Donald Trump.

And Maggie Horn, a 52-year-old school paraprofessional from Mission, says she turned out to vote for Sharice Davids, the state’s first gay and first Native American nominee for Congress. She says Davids’ diverse background and experiences would bring a new way of thinking about solutions to the country’s problems, which is “what the Democrats need.”

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1:45 p.m.

Voters heading to the polls in Wichita are reflecting the split among Republicans in supporting Gov. Jeff Colyer or his challenger, Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

Richard Stinnett is a 72-year-old retired truck driver. He says he voted for Kobach on Tuesday because he believes Colyer is “just a little over his head” as governor. Stinnett also says Kobach is similar to President Donald Trump, with common sense, accountability and the ability to get things done.

Bruce Underwood is a 59-year-old engineer. He says his vote for Colyer was really a vote against Kobach. He says he’s a registered Republican but will probably vote for a Democrat for governor because Republicans aren’t standing up to Trump, who has backed Kobach.

While the marquee race in Kansas this year is for governor , voters are also picking candidates to contest two House seats that Democrats are hoping to flip in November.

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12 a.m.

While the marquee race in Kansas this year is for governor , voters are also picking candidates to contest two House seats that Democrats are hoping to flip in November.

Democrats will settle a six-candidate contest for the party’s nomination in the Kansas City-area 3rd Congressional District held by four-term Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder. The race drew the attention of 2016 presidential candidate Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

In the 2nd Congressional District of eastern Kansas, seven Republicans are vying for the right to challenge Democrat Paul Davis with Republican incumbent Lynn Jenkins not seeking re-election.

Republicans also had contested primaries for secretary of state and insurance commissioner.

All polling places across the state must open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. local time.

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