GOP Pulls Out All Stops to Win Kansas Special Election

President Trump even sent out tweet promoting Ron Estes for congressional seat
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 11, 2017 4:07 PM CDT
GOP Pulls Out All Stops to Win Kansas Special Election
The candidates running in the April 11, 2017, special general election in Kansas' 4th Congressional District, from left: Republican Ron Estes, the state's treasurer; Democrat James Thompson, a civil rights attorney; and Libertarian Chris Rockhold, a flight instructor.   (The Wichita Eagle via AP)

There's no place like home when you're from Kansas, though Republicans vying to take hold of a congressional seat left empty by Rep. Mike Pompeo when he left to head President Trump's CIA hope they'll still feel that way after Tuesday's special election. The GOP candidate: Ron Estes, the state's treasurer, who's taking on Democrat James Thompson and flight instructor Chris Rockhold, a Libertarian, per the Kansas City Star. But even though the state has long leaned Republican in federal elections, and Pompeo, running on the GOP platform, led by more than 30 percentage points when he won the 4th Congressional District spot in November, the Grand Old Party isn't breathing easy. That could partly be because of a GOP-circulated poll cited by the Star that showed Estes was only up by one percentage point as of last week.

High-profile Republicans have swept in for the assist: Ted Cruz showed up at a Wichita rally Wednesday, Speaker Paul Ryan put out a personal appeal to donors, and VP Mike Pence and President Trump lent their voices to robocalls urging local voters to cast their ballots for Estes. The president even took to Twitter Tuesday morning to plug Estes, calling him a "wonderful guy" from the "Great State of Kansas" and adding, "I need his help on Healthcare & Tax Cuts (Reform)." The Topeka Capital-Journal also documents the influx of out-of-state GOP money that's been coming in to support Estes. Democrats have taken note of the nervousness that's led to the GOP pulling out all the stops, trying to fend off a loss that would likely be seen as pushback against Trump. "You don't sound the alarm if you think you're safe," Colin Curtis, Thompson's campaign manager, tells the Star. (More Kansas stories.)

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