Scott Canon

Digital Editor, Kansas News Service

Scott Canon is digital editor of the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KCUR, Kansas Public Radio, KMUW and High Plains Public Radio covering health, education and politics. He started working for KCUR in January 2018.

Canon spent most of his career as a newspaper reporter, working in Illinois and California before landing in the newsroom of The Kansas City Star. At The Star, he covered mostly regional and national stories. As an editor at the newspaper, he oversaw political coverage. He also fielded a handful of overseas assignments to both very hot and very cold places.

NOMIN UJIYEDIIN / KANSAS NEWS SERVICE

Fresh off a victory that cemented his latest, controversial pick on the nation’s high court, President Donald Trump came to Kansas on Saturday night hoping to transfer his popularity in the state to two fellow Republicans.

Trump arrived just hours after Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in as a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court — the most contentious appointment to the court in generations. Trump was in regular rally form, playing to an adoring crowd of some 10,000 thrilled supporters at the Topeka Expocentre.

The moment that figured to clarify the Kansas race for governor instead left it muddled.

Sure, state Sen. Laura Kelly ended up running away with the Democratic primary on Tuesday. And independent candidate Greg Orman had been waiting in the wings for months.

But the still oh-so-close Republican race between incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer and Secretary of State Kris Kobach tangled the race in the unknown. 

The Republican race for governor looks destined for a recount.

Out of more than 300,000 votes cast in the GOP race, unofficial final results showed Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach tallying 191 more votes than incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer.

The winner will face state Sen. Laura Kelly of Topeka, who locked down the Democractic nomination with a convincing win on Tuesday. They will likely be joined by independent candidate Greg Orman.

Now it starts to get real. Tuesday’s primary, and the early voting that wraps up at noon on Monday, could begin to clarify what direction Kansas politics will head after the Sam Brownback era. To the right, to the left or anchored in the middle.

Tooling through parades in a flag-themed Jeep with a faux machine gun mounted on the back apparently wasn’t enough for Secretary of State Kris Kobach to win over the National Rifle Association in the Kansas governor’s race

The country’s largest and most influential gun lobby on Monday instead endorsed Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer in his Republican primary. That left Kobach claiming that he still has the backing of grassroots gun rights voters.

The NRA said its endorsement reflected Colyer’s “strong support for the Second Amendment and the hunting heritage of Kansas.”

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer says President Donald Trump deserves the Nobel Peace Prize.

Joining six other Republican governors, Colyer signed a letter this week that said the president should get the honor for “his transformative efforts to bring peace to the Korean peninsula.”

The letter, dated Monday, was sent to the Norwegian Nobel Committee. The same panel gave Barack Obama the peace prize just nine months into his presidency in 2009 for what it saw as his contribution to international diplomacy.

In an election year with a state Supreme Court ruling hanging over their heads, Kansas lawmakers wrestled over school spending, taxes and guns.

They fought among themselves and often split ways from legislators they’d chosen as leaders.

In the end, they decided not to throw a tax cut to voters. It would have partly reversed tough political choices they made a year before to salvage state government’s troubled financial ledger.