Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach defeated incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer in the state’s Republican gubernatorial primary on Tuesday night, one week after the close election was held.

“This election is probably the closest in America,” Colyer stated in his concession speech Tuesday night. “But the numbers are just not there, unless we were to go to extraordinary measures. But Kansas is too important.”

Kobach — who received support from President Donald Trump just one day before the race — held an extremely tight lead of 345 votes after late ballots were counted over the past week. Trump said in a tweet on Aug. 6 that Kobach was “strong on crime, border & military.”

Kobach will face off against Democratic Sen. Laura Kelly in November.

Colyer, who previously served as Kansas’s lieutenant governor, was hoping to be elected to his first full term after he replaced the unpopular former Gov. Sam Brownback in January. Brownback is now working in the Trump administration as U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom.


Kobach supported Trump during the 2016 presidential primaries, and also became the vice chairman of Trump’s commission to investigate voter fraud. This committee ultimately failed to find any evidence of widespread illegal voting, something Trump had claimed caused him to lose the popular vote in the 2016 election.

Trump won Kansas by 21% in 2016, and CNN reported that Democrats have high hopes of winning the governorship in the state given Kobach’s controversial history in politics.

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