Rep. Roger Marshall defeated controversial former Secretary of State Kris Kobach in the hotly-contested Republican primary for US Senate in Kansas. Marshall was endorsed by outgoing Kansas Senator Pat Roberts, National Right to Life, and the US Chamber of Commerce. In past years, Kobach embarked on aggressive but ultimately unsuccessful efforts to prove the existence of widespread voting by undocumented immigrants and lost the 2018 Kansas gubernatorial election.
Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
The stakes: Rep. Roger Marshall, who represents the state's first congressional district, defeated former Secretary of State Kris Kobach and business owner Bob Hamilton in a competitive primary to determine the GOP nominee in the race to replace retiring Sen. Pat Roberts. Kobach, a controversial figure who recently lost Kansas' 2018 gubernatorial election, lost his bid to serve in office again in the GOP primary. Before holding elected office, Kobach was the architect of some of the strictest laws in the nation aiming to crack down on illegal immigration, including Arizona's SB 1070, which allowed law enforcement to ask individuals they suspected of being in the US illegally for documentation during arrests and other police stops, and Alabama's similar HB56. As Kansas' Secretary of State, Kobach embarked on an aggressive crusade against what he believed was a widespread problem of undocumented immigrants voting, which exhaustive political science research has found no evidence to support. In that effort, he implemented a stringent voter ID law, spearheaded voter fraud prosecutions, and pushed for the legislature to pass a law requiring Kansans to present not just proof of residency but proof of citizenship, like a birth certificate, in order to register to vote. The American Civil Liberties Union challenged the law in federal court by the grounds that it violated the 1993 National Voter Registration Act. Kobach not only badly lost the case but had to pay the plaintiff's' attorney's fees and was ordered to take a remedial civil procedure course by the presiding judge. President Donald Trump also put Kobach in charge of leading a voter fraud commission tasked with comparing states' voter files to Department of Homeland Security databases of undocumented immigrants in order to find examples of illegal voting. The project quickly fell apart, however, when the vast majority of states refused to voluntarily hand over the extensive databases of personal voter information requested by the commission, which never ended up producing a report or proving widespread illegal voting in the 2016 election. Kobach then ran for governor of Kansas in 2018, successfully primarying incumbent Gov. Jeff Coyler. But he was handily defeated by Democrat Laura Kelly in the general election, with the Kansas City Star reporting that he "refused to listen to advice, was unwilling to put energy into fundraising, and failed to set up a basic 'get out the vote' operation." After Kobach lodged an unsuccessful bid to become Trump's immigration czar, including making a list of 10 demands he required be fulfilled to take the position including an office in the West Wing and 24-hour access to a plane, he announced he would run for US Senate. Marshall, who is a staunch conservative but still a far more mainstream Republican as opposed to a firebrand like Kobach, was endorsed by outgoing Senator Pat Roberts, National Right to Life, and the US Chamber of Commerce. The New York Times recently reported that national Republicans are beginning to worry that Kobach's bombastic politically brand and recent track record of losing a statewide election could make him especially vulnerable in the general election in a presidential year, and are exasperated with Trump for not making an influential endorsement to boost Marshall. CNN further reported that Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas partially influenced Trump not to endorse against Kobach, citing Marshall's support of former Gov. John Kasich in the 2016 presidential primary as a reason not to back Marshall. The GOP nominee will compete against Barbara Boiller, Democratic state senator and physician, in the general election, who is aiming to become the first Democrat elected to represent Kansas in the US Senate since 1932. While Boiler will face an uphill battle against any of the Republicans, the protracted and hotly-contested Republican primary fight has allowed her to amass a massive cash advantage over all the Republicans in the race. Boiler raised a stunning $7.8 million in 2020's second fundraising quarter, breaking an all-time quarterly fundraising record for any federal or state campaign in Kansas history, the Kansas City Star reported. As of the most recent filings, Boiler has $4 million in cash on hand compared to $1 million for Marshall and a little over $136,000 for Kobach, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. In the general election, The Cook Political Report and Inside Elections rate this race as "leans Republican" while Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics rates it as "likely Republican." Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: We tested a machine that brews beer at the push of a button
More like this (3)
Summary List PlacementPresident Joe Biden has been in office for less than two weeks, but in...Summary List PlacementPresident Joe Biden has been in office for less than two weeks, but in state legislatures across the US, Republicans still reeling from former President Donald Trump's electoral loss are devising ways to restrict the vote, from eliminating ballot drop boxes to requiring the notarization of absentee ballot applications. In 2010, Republicans made historic gains in state legislatures, flipping 24 chambers that...
At the courts and polls, President Trump and his allies move to limit voting. The GOP...At the courts and polls, President Trump and his allies move to limit voting. The GOP cites fraud, but voting rights advocates see an old foe: voter suppression.
California Republicans embrace legally dubious ballot harvesting after Trump and the GOP spent months decrying the practice
Summary List PlacementThe California Republican Party doubled down on its use of unauthorized ballot dropboxes, potentially...Summary List PlacementThe California Republican Party doubled down on its use of unauthorized ballot dropboxes, potentially in violation of state law, shortly before state officials issued cease-and-desist orders against them in the matter. On Sunday evening, news outlets including the Orange County Register and CBS Los Angeles reported that local election officials in parts of the state including Orange County, Los Angeles County, and...