GOP hard-liner Kobach seeks comeback in race for Kansas AG

Nov 8, 2022, 4:00 AM | Updated: 4:21 am
In this photo from Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, Kris Kobach, then the Kansas secretary of state and the...

In this photo from Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, Kris Kobach, then the Kansas secretary of state and the Republican nominee for Kansas governor, rides in a parade in a jeep with a replica machine gun in Baldwin City, Kan. The jeep was the signature prop in Kobach's campaign for governor that year, which he lost to Democrat Laura Kelly. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

(AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Republican Kris Kobach sought Tuesday to win a comeback bid for Kansas attorney general after two big losses raised the question of whether he was electable in his home state.

Kobach, a former two-term Kansas secretary of state, was believed to be in a close race with Democrat Chris Mann, a former police officer and local prosecutor making his first run for elective office. Kobach was coming off losses in the Kansas governor’s race in 2018 and a U.S. Senate primary in 2020 that Republicans chalked up to lackluster campaigns and political baggage that turned off independent and moderate GOP voters.

Many Republicans said that this year, they saw a Kobach who stayed more on message, had a better-organized campaign and came off as calmer and steadier than in the past. He talked less about illegal immigration and didn’t use the signature prop of his 2018 run for governor, a Jeep painted in a flag design with a replica machine gun mounted on it.

But Kobach maintained a focus on tightening voting procedures in the absence of documented problems with fraud. In a mid-October debate, he said Kansas needed to rid itself of ballot drop boxes and that people who questioned whether there is voter fraud are “ignoring reality.”

His position put him at odds with current Kansas Secretary of State Scott Schwab, a Republican who said the state’s elections are secure and drop boxes safe. An Associated Press survey of state elections officials found no cases in 2020 of fraud, vandalism or theft involving drop boxes that could have affected the results.

Kobach built a national profile and created lasting political enemies before his election as Kansas secretary of state in 2010 by becoming the go-to adviser for state and local officials wanting to crack down on illegal immigration.

He also pushed the idea that lots of people could be voting illegally and championed a tough prove-your-citizenship rule for new Kansas voters, only to see the federal courts strike it down. An early Kansas supporter of Donald Trump’s presidential bid in 2016, he was co-chairman of Trump’s short-lived presidential advisory commission on voter fraud.

Kobach told Republicans during his successful primary race this year that he would consider each morning over breakfast how as attorney general he could sue President Joe Biden’s administration. But during his fall campaign, he tempered that rhetoric, saying that he’d challenge Biden actions that appeared to violate federal law or the U.S. Constitution.

Mann suggested that Kobach still would be involving Kansas in frivolous and expensive lawsuits and promised to focus on the office’s “everyday” work such as public safety and consumer protection.

Mann became a police officer in the late 1990s in the northeastern Kansas city of Lawrence, but an on-duty accident involving a drunken driver ended his career in uniform after only a few years. He then went to law school and worked as a prosecutor in Kansas City, Kansas, and as a state securities regulator before starting a private practice. He also served on the national board of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

___

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

___

Learn more about the issues and factors at play in the midterms at https://apnews.com/hub/explaining-the-elections .

And follow the AP’s election coverage of the 2022 elections at https://apnews.com/hub/2022-midterm-elections.

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

AP

FILE - An election worker verifies a ballot on a screen inside the Maricopa County Recorders Office...
Associated Press

NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn’t happen this week

A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue stories and visuals of the week. None of these are legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked them out. Here are the facts: ___ Arizona election equipment was certified ahead of midterms CLAIM: Election equipment in Arizona […]
9 hours ago
FILE - Former President Donald Trump announces a third run for president as he speaks at Mar-a-Lago...
Associated Press

Prosecution resumes closing argument at Trump Org. trial

NEW YORK (AP) — Prosecutors resumed their closing argument Friday in the Trump Organization’s criminal tax fraud trial, promising to share previously unrevealed details about Donald Trump’s knowledge of a tax dodge scheme hatched by one of his top executives. “Donald Trump knew exactly what was going on with his top executives,” Assistant Manhattan District […]
9 hours ago
FILE - The FTX logo appears on home plate umpire Jansen Visconti's jacket at a baseball game with t...
Associated Press

The pandemic, Karens, crypto craziness: We’re over you, 2022

NEW YORK (AP) — The rudeness pandemic, the actual pandemic and all things gray. There’s a lot to leave behind when 2022 comes to a close as uncertainty rules around the world. The health crisis brought on the dawn of slow living, but it crushed many families forced to hustle for their lives. Karens went […]
9 hours ago
Residents wearing masks cross an intersection in Beijing, Friday, Dec. 2, 2022. More cities eased r...
Associated Press

WHO pleased to see China ease harsh zero COVID policies

LONDON (AP) — A top official at the World Health Organization said the U.N. agency was “pleased” to see China loosening some of its coronavirus restrictions, saying “it’s really important that governments listen to their people when the people are in pain.” At a press briefing on Friday, WHO emergencies director Dr. Michael Ryan said […]
9 hours ago
Associated Press

Top exec at pharmacy in deadly meningitis outbreak sentenced

BOSTON (AP) — A former co-owner of a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy at the center of a nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak that resulted in more than 100 patient deaths has been sentenced to a year in prison for conspiring to defraud the federal government. Gregory Conigliaro, 57, as the vice president and general manager of the […]
9 hours ago
FILE - Paul Whelan, a former U.S. marine who was arrested for alleged spying, listens to the verdic...
Associated Press

Brother of Russia-imprisoned American says contact resumed

MOSCOW (AP) — The family of Paul Whelan, an American imprisoned in Russia for espionage, said Friday that he has resumed contact after unexpectedly becoming unreachable in November. Along with WNBA star Brittney Griner, Whelan is the focus of efforts by the United States to arrange a prisoner swap with Russia. The Associated Press and […]
9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
GOP hard-liner Kobach seeks comeback in race for Kansas AG