Kansas GOP nominates Kobach for AG, advancing comeback bid

Aug 1, 2022, 8:38 PM | Updated: Aug 3, 2022, 12:09 am
FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2022, file photo, Kansas state Sen. Kellie Warren, R-Leawood, presides as c...

FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2022, file photo, Kansas state Sen. Kellie Warren, R-Leawood, presides as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee during a meeting at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. Warren is running for Kansas attorney general. (AP Photo/John Hanna, File)

(AP Photo/John Hanna, File)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republicans on Tuesday nominated Kris Kobach for Kansas attorney general, keeping alive the polarizing conservative’s bid for a political comeback following his losses in a governor’s race and U.S. Senate primary over the past four years.

Kobach, a former Kansas secretary of state who built a national profile by advocating tough immigration policies and questioning the integrity of elections, defeated two lesser-known rivals in the primary. He won a close race, overcoming many Republicans’ qualms over his losses to Democrat Laura Kelly in the 2018 governor’s race and to Roger Marshall in the 2020 Senate primary.

After his win, he sought to reassure the Republican base about his chances in November, telling The Associated Press by phone that the depiction of him as a perpetual loser was overblown and noting that one of his losses happened in 2018, which he described as a “bloodbath for Republicans.”

“2022 is going to be a very strong year for Republicans,” he said. “Conditions will be different.”

He also said he was disappointed that voters rejected a ballot measure that would have amended the state constitution to specify that it doesn’t ensure the right to abortion, which would have allowed the Republican-controlled Legislature to further restrict abortion or ban it outright.

Kobach’s backers argued that this year’s elections are likely to see a surge in conservative voters in November because of anger over inflation, gas prices and COVID-19 restrictions. The Democratic nominee is first-time candidate Chris Mann, a private practice attorney who previously worked as a police officer and prosecutor.

Many Republican critics of Kobach had put their hopes in state Sen. Kellie Warren, a Kansas City-area attorney who was outspoken in legislative efforts to add anti-abortion language to the state constitution and to limit the power of state and local officials to close businesses and impose other restrictions during pandemics.

Warren, who traded the lead repeatedly with Kobach throughout the night, conceded defeat just before midnight in a statement that thanked her supporters.

Kobach promoted election fraud as a big issue a decade before former President Donald Trump pressed his false claims that fraud cost him reelection in 2020. Kobach was the first prominent Kansas elected official to endorse Trump in 2016 and served as vice chairman of a Trump commission on election fraud. He is promising to pursue such cases if he’s elected attorney general.

But Kobach’s bigger pitch to Republican voters was that he will look for ways to sue Democratic President Joe Biden’s administration and will file lawsuits even when he believes victory is far from guaranteed.

Warren had the backing of the politically influential Kansas Chamber of Commerce, as well as the small-government, low-tax group Americans for Prosperity. She attacked Kobach for his election losses and questioned his abilities as a lawyer, while he mocked her as a lawyer with little actual courtroom experience.

A third candidate, former federal prosecutor Tony Mattivi, trailed Kobach and Warren by a wide margin. During his campaign, Mattivi touted his experience as a prosecutor and argued that the attorney general’s biggest job was to keep Kansas residents safe. But the campaign never gained traction.

Kobach is a former University of Missouri-Kansas City law professor who served in the U.S. Justice Department before losing a race for Congress in 2004. He won the Kansas secretary of state’s office in 2010, defeating two lesser-known candidates in the primary and riding a Republican midterm wave that year to oust a Democratic incumbent appointed to fill a vacancy only months before.

___

Follow John Hanna on Twitter: https://twitter.com/apjdhanna

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Ravi, a 7 year old red panda, is caged after being found in a tree near the zoo he escaped from day...
Associated Press

Red panda found in fig tree after escaping Australian zoo

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A red panda that spent two days on the lam after escaping from an Australian zoo was recaptured Sunday after he was spotted hanging out in a fig tree in a nearby park. Named Ravi, the 7-year-old panda had arrived at Adelaide Zoo last week after he was brought in […]
3 hours ago
FILE - Myanmar nationals living in South Korea march to condemn Myanmar's recent executions of acti...
Associated Press

Myanmar executions revive pressure for more sanctions

BANGKOK (AP) — Recent executions of four democracy activists in Myanmar have reenergized efforts to get the United States and other countries to impose further sanctions against military leaders who ousted an elected government early last year. Human rights advocates and comments by U.S. lawmakers suggest the Senate is inching toward passage of the Burma […]
3 hours ago
In this photo released on Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022, by the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Foreign Ministr...
Associated Press

Iran denies involvement but justifies Salman Rushdie attack

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An Iranian government official denied on Monday that Tehran was involved in the assault on author Salman Rushdie, though he justified the stabbing in remarks that represented the Islamic Republic’s first public comments on the attack. The comments by Nasser Kanaani, the spokesman of Iran’s Foreign Ministry, came more […]
3 hours ago
Associated Press

This Week: Walmart earns, Fed meeting minutes, US home sales

A look at some of the key business events and economic indicators upcoming this week: SPOTLIGHT ON WALMART Wall Street expects another mixed quarterly report card from Walmart. Analysts predict the nation’s largest retailer will report on Tuesday that its fiscal second-quarter earnings fell and its revenue rose compared with the same period last year. […]
3 hours ago
Anastasiia Aleksandrova, 12, right, sits with her grandmother, Olena, at their home in Sloviansk, D...
Associated Press

Boredom, loneliness plague Ukrainian youth near front line

SLOVIANSK, Ukraine (AP) — Anastasiia Aleksandrova doesn’t even look up from her phone when the thunder of nearby artillery booms through the modest home the 12-year-old shares with her grandparents on the outskirts of Sloviansk in eastern Ukraine. With no one her age left in her neighborhood and classes only online since Russia’s invasion, video […]
1 day ago
A person wearing a protective mask walks past an electronic stock board showing Japan's Nikkei 225 ...
Associated Press

World shares mostly higher after China cuts key rate

BANGKOK (AP) — World shares were mostly higher early Monday after China’s central bank cut a key interest rate and Japan reported its economy picked up momentum in the last quarter. U.S. futures edged lower and oil prices fell more than $2. Paris, Frankfurt, Tokyo and Sydney advanced while Hong Kong and Shanghai fell. The […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
...
Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Kansas GOP nominates Kobach for AG, advancing comeback bid