Today is primary election day in the State of Kansas. Primary elections are where registered voters select a candidate whom they believe should be a political party’s candidate for elected office to run in the November general election. Aside from simply selecting nominees, they often articulate a party’s identity at the time.
Such is the case in the Kansas House of Representatives primary race between incumbent Susan Concannon of Beloit and Concordia Mayor Sam Sacco. The race is being considered by political experts to be one of three battleground House of Representatives races in Northern and Western Kansas. It pits Sacco, a supporter of the policies of former Gov. Sam Brownback, against Concannon who worked to reverse Brownback policies on taxation and Medicaid expansion.
Concannon has been endorsed by current Gov. Jeff Colyer who is a more moderate candidate despite his affiliation with Brownback as his Lt. Governor until Febuary of this year when he assumed the governor’s office after Brownback resigned to take a federal diplomatic position.
Colyer, who is entrenched in his own primary race today, is being closely challenged by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach who has the support of a majority of political organizations as carry overs from the Brownback administration. Kobach was also endorsed by President Trump, which came as no surprise, as Kobach was a member of Trump’s short-lived panel on elections.
Trump announced his endorsement of Kobach via Twitter late Monday morning against the advice of his own political advisors who feel Colyer has the best chance to win the governor’s office for the Republican Party in the General Election come November.
Colyer has been endorsed by long tome U.S. Senator Bob Dole which Colyer announced at his campaign stop in Beloit last week. Colyer and Kobach were neck and neck at 32% according to a poll conducted by the Topeka Capital Journal late last week. However, the polls also showed as much as 20 or more of the Republican electorate as undecided in the governor’s race. The website realclearpolitics.com had Colyer leading 34% to 32% over Kobach as of Monday. Former State Senator Jim Barnett is polling a distant third at 13%.
The front-runners in the democratic primary for governor include Kansas Legislator Laura Kelly, former legislator Josh Svaty and former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer.
In other contested races, U.S. Congressman Roger Marshall is being challenged by Nick Reinecker of Inman. There are multiple challengers in the race for Kansas Secretary of State including Keith Esau and Scott Schwab of Olathe, Randy Duncan of Salina as well as Craig McCullah and Dennis Taylor of Topeka.
Polls are typically open from 7a.m. to 7p.m. on elections days. Contact your local county clerk’s office for your specific local polling place and times.