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Primary Election Day in Kansas & Other States

August 07, 2018 - 2:04 pm

President Donald Trump's preferred congressional candidate — and his chief legislative achievement — are about to be tested in battleground Ohio in the season's final high-stakes special election.

The midsummer affair comes as Trump's shadow looms over primary contests in four other states on Tuesday, including Kansas.

The races, like dozens before them, pit the strength of the Republican president's fiery coalition against the Democratic Party's anti-Trump resistance. The results will help determine the political landscape — and Trump's standing within his own party — just three months before the GOP defends its House and Senate majorities across the nation.

Voters in Kansas and Ohio and Kansas join those across Missouri, Michigan and Washington state at the ballot box. But only Ohio will send someone to Congress after votes are counted.

Meanwhile, more than 700 miles to the west, Kansas Republicans were fighting among themselves in the escalating battle for governor, where Secretary of State Kris Kobach and others are trying to unseat Gov. Jeff Colyer.

Should the polarizing Kobach win, some Republican operatives fear he could lose the governor's seat to Democrats this fall. The race could become further disrupted if Kansas City-area businessman Greg Orman makes it onto the November ballot. He submitted petitions Monday with more than 10,000 signatures for what could become the most serious independent run for Kansas governor in decades.

Trump didn't seem worried about Kobach's prospects.

"He is a fantastic guy who loves his State and our Country - he will be a GREAT Governor and has my full & total Endorsement! Strong on Crime, Border & Military," the president tweeted on the eve of the election. "VOTE TUESDAY!"

Republicans are hoping for Democratic discord in Kansas' 3rd Congressional District, a suburban Kansas City region where several candidates are fighting for the chance to take on Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder in November.

The five-way Democratic primary features labor lawyer Brent Welder, who campaigned recently with self-described democratic socialists Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and ascending political star, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York congressional candidate.

Also in the race: Native American attorney Sharice Davids and former school teacher Tom Niermann.

The polls in Kansas close at 7:00 p.m.; listen for election results on 98.7 and 1330 KNSS.

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