In a huge victory for Democrats in a deep-red state, Democrat Laura Kelly defeated Republican Kris Kobach and independent candidate Greg Orman on Tuesday to become the next governor of Kansas.
The vote—which Kelly was leading by a 10-point margin with about two-thirds of the vote reporting—is a repudiation of the brash right-wing politics embraced by Kobach, who gained national attention as the architect of laws making it harder to vote and cracking down on undocumented immigrants.
Kobach, the former vice chair of Donald Trump’s election integrity commission, repeated lies on the campaign trail about the prevalence of widespread voter fraud and argued that every state needed to adopt strict voter ID laws and proof-of-citizenship requirements to register to vote. The proof-of-citizenship law Kobach wrote in 2011 blocked 35,000 Kansans from registering to vote before it was ruled unconstitutional by a federal court, and his voter ID law caused more than 1,200 ballots to be rejected while he was secretary of state.
Kobach was also held in contempt by a federal judge and ordered to take six hours of continuing legal education for “repeated and flagrant violations” of court rules. Like Trump, Kobach also played on fears of undocumented immigration, falsely claiming in one ad on TV that Kelly was “an open borders extremist” who “voted to allow sanctuary cities.”
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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: AP
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