Republican Gov. Jeff Colyer and Secretary of State Kris Kobach were the leading contenders for the Kansas gubernatorial primary Tuesday. However, the race is still too close to call.
As of early Wednesday morning, the race still hadn’t been decided as they seem deadlocked with 443 precincts still out. Micheal Mahoney of KMBC TV revealed near midnight that Johnson Couty was holding up the final results.
“Election Director Ronnie Metsker says it could be 2-3 hours for final JOCO results. Says the new computers are working slower than expected,” he tweeted. “There was an audible gasp in the KMBC News studio when” it was announced.
Kobach has a slight lead over Colyer by mere 541 votes as of early Wednesday.
Kansas has a history of Democrats winning against far-right Republicans. In both of Kathleen Sebelius’ gubernatorial campaigns, she faced Republicans that were outside of the mainstream. The same happened in the 2006 election for the Kansas Second District, where Nancy Boyda beat right-wing Congressman Jim Ryun. If Kobach prevails, there is a chance for Democrats to win, in a state that has seen the failure of tea party policies up close.
The Kansas Third District is also said to be in play after Hillary Clinton won the district in 2016. The district is currently being held by conservative Republican Kevin Yoder. The Democratic primary is still too close to call.
Either Colyer or Kobach will face off against Democrat state senator Laura Kelly, a Sebelius-like candidate, who is campaigning on a platform of education and saving the state’s wrecked economy.