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The Latest: Democrats criticize Kobach as GOP nominee

LENEXA, Kan. (AP) — The Latest on Kansas Trump Adviser-Governor (all times local):

11:55 a.m.

Kansas Democratic Party Chairman John Gibson says the Republican Party would continue to endorse “the failure of Sam Brownback” if Kris Kobach becomes the party’s next nominee for governor.

Kobach, the current Kansas Secretary of State, announced Thursday that he plans to run to replace Brownback.

Gibson said in a statement that the Democratic Party’s responsibility is to elect a governor who is “grounded in reality and represents the interests of all Kansans.”

He says Democrats look forward to a vigorous debate on the state’s direction with whoever Republicans choose as their candidate.

Kobach is leading President Donald Trump’s commission on election fraud and has led national efforts to enact tough voter identification laws.


11:30 a.m.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who is helping lead President Donald Trump’s commission on election fraud, says he is running for governor.

The Republican was announcing his 2018 bid Thursday in Lenexa, Kansas.

Kobach has helped draft laws and ordinances in several states aimed at cracking down on illegal immigration, and he has a national reputation for championing tough voter identification laws. He has been advising Trump since before the election.

Kobach’s announcement comes just two days after Kansas legislators enacted a law rolling back income tax cuts championed by current Republican Gov. Sam Brownback. Lawmakers did so by overriding Brownback’s veto. Kobach strongly criticized the move.

Kobach is also a strong abortion opponent and gun-rights advocate.

The 51-year-old has been Kansas’ secretary of state since 2011.

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