Kris Kobach

The campaign season is upon us in Kansas. Candidates for governor are hitting the airwaves and the debate stages. Jim McLean, Madeline Fox, and Stephen Koranda of the Kansas News Service discuss this week’s developments. 


Lancerenok / flickr Creative Commons

The top contenders running for governor say Kansas should not follow Colorado’s lead and legalize recreational marijuana, but they differ on medical marijuana.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

It will likely be several months before a court in Douglas County convenes a grand jury to investigate allegations that Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s office mishandled voter registrations. That would push the investigation beyond the fall election.

Kobach, a Republican, is currently locked in a race for governor with Democratic state Sen. Laura Kelly and independent Greg Orman.

Kris Kobach lost his 2004 bid for Congress to Democrat Dennis Moore by a hefty margin — nearly 12 percentage points in a district that went Republican a few years later.

Ask Moore’s media consultant what turned that race, and he’ll point to allegations that Kobach took money from people with thinly veiled white supremacist agendas.

“It stopped his progress dead in the water,” recalls Martin Hamburger, who created a 2004 ad that hammered Kobach on that front.

(This story has been updated.)

Gov. Jeff Colyer lost a nail-biter Republican primary for governor to Secretary of Kris Kobach and quickly backed the man who beat him.

At least one key member of his campaign, however, moved on Monday to jump ship from the party’s nominee.

Colyer campaign chairman and longtime former Kansas Farm Bureau president Steve Baccus threw his support to independent candidate Greg Orman.

Orman campaign photo

Legal experts say independent candidate for governor Greg Orman faces at least a potential threat to lose his spot on the ballot in Kansas' general election.

An objection filed with the Kansas Secretary of State's office on Monday targets the signatures Orman gathered for ballot access. The letter was filed on behalf of William Lawrence, the chief of staff for Democratic state Senate Leader Anthony Hensley.

LaRissa Lawrie / KMUW

A final count of all votes shows Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach defeated Gov. Jeff Colyer in the Republican primary for governor by 350 votes.

Final vote totals in the razor-thin race were posted Tuesday after the last of the state's 105 counties completed their vote canvassing on Monday. More than 317,000 people voted in the GOP primary.

Colyer conceded to Kobach on Aug. 14 and has said he will not seek a recount.

Scott Canon / Kansas News Service

Kansas is one of the worst states in the country when it comes to handling its elections, according to a new report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Kansas was ranked 48th out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on how it performed in the 2016 elections.

The main factor that pushed Kansas so low was the high number of provisional ballots — about 3 percent in 2016 compared to the national average of about 1 percent.

His last real prospects of winning the Republican nomination for the office he holds slipping away one county canvass after the next, Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer conceded the primary race to Secretary of State Kris Kobach on Tuesday night.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

The Sedgwick County Board of Canvassers met Monday amid a heightened sense of scrutiny following last week’s primary election.

More than 1,300 provisional and disputed votes were accepted and will be added to the final vote results this week. About 900 ballots were tossed out for a number of reasons: In some cases voters didn’t sign their envelopes before mailing the ballot back in, or they weren’t registered in Sedgwick County.

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