Incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer concedes Kansas GOP primary, endorses Kobach

By Hanna Bogorowski

Kansas’ incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer conceded the gubernatorial primary race on Tuesday night and has endorsed his Republican opponent, Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

The long-awaited nominee for Kansas’ GOP gubernatorial nominee was settled after Colyer posted a video on his official Twitterpage, saying it was his duty to put Kansas first, and will not challenge the vote count in court, nor will he ask for a recount.

“Right here and now, we will endorse the winner, Kris Kobach,” he said.

After the polls closed on Aug. 7, the race for Kansas GOP gubernatorial nominee was too close to call, with Kobach leading by 191 votes.

Two days later, Kobach’s lead fell to under100 votes after a reporting error was discovered, a local news outlet, 13 NEWS, reported.

“I just had a conversation with the secretary of state, and I congratulated him on his success, and I repeated my determination to keep this seat in Republican hands,” Colyer said in his concession video.

“This election is probably the closest in America, but the numbers are just not there unless we were to go to extraordinary measures,” he added.

“Tracy [his wife] and I will not challenge this in court, nor will we be asking for a recount,” he added.

Kobach responded to Coyler’s announcement on Twitter, thanking him for his endorsement.

Kobach received a controversial endorsement from President Donald Trump just one day before the election, a move that came against the advice of many Republicans, including leaders of the Republican Governor’s Association, who believe Kobach would be too polarizing to win in November and would subsequently hand Democrats the governor’s office.

Colyer, who takes a similar position as Trump on several issues, including the trade deals with China and on border control, has also agreed that Kobach is too aggressive a candidate and that his victory would risk Republican control.

Kobach will face Kansas state Sen. Laura Kelly in November, who won the Democratic nominee handedly with 51.5 percent of the vote.

Colyer, who received endorsements from former Kansas GOP Sen. Bob Dole and the National Rifle Association (NRA), became governor in January after Trump nominated former Gov. Sam Brownback to be U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom.

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Image courtesy of Kansas Secretary of State's office