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Politics
00000179-cdc6-d978-adfd-cfc6d7d40002Coverage of the issues, races and people shaping Kansas elections in 2016, including statewide coverage in partnership with KCUR, Kansas Public Radio, and High Plains Public Radio.

Governor Brownback Endorses Rubio Ahead Of Kansas Caucus

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Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has endorsed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, Kansas Republicans will pick presidential candidates in the March 5 caucus.

In a statement, Brownback called Rubio a “true conservative who can unite the party.”

University of Kansas political science professor Patrick Miller says evangelical voters are a force in the Kansas Republican caucus and Sen. Ted Cruz might seem like a natural choice for them. But Miller says Brownback's endorsement might shake up the race and give Rubio a boost.

“He does not traditionally have very strong ties to evangelical Christians. If the Brownback endorsement can help him even just a little bit, that could matter in such a divided field like this,” Miller says.

The governor's son-in-law also works for the Rubio campaign in faith outreach.

Miller says Donald Trump may appeal to more tea party-aligned voters in Kansas. The fates of candidates like Jeb Bush, John Kasich or Ben Carson may depend on how well they’re doing nationally when the Kansas Republican caucus is held, on the first Saturday in March.

Read the full news release below: