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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.

Kobach Serving On Trump's Transition Team, Could Be Choice For Administration Job

Stephen Koranda
KPR/File photo

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says he’s serving on the transition team for President-elect Donald Trump, but Kobach says he’s not angling for a job in the Trump administration.

Right now, Kobach says his focus is helping Trump’s team develop immigration policy proposals.

“Trying to put together a to-do list for the Trump team when they take office in January. The first 100 days, what’s going to get done, what are the top priorities, what are the orders that things should occur,” Kobach says.

Kobach says he is open to the idea of working for Trump.

“If they think that I’m a good fit for something, I’d certainly consider it, but I’m not expecting anything and not really speculating about anything. I’ve got a job to do here,” Kobach says.

Emporia State University professor of political science Michael Smith says Kobach makes sense as a choice for a job in the administration, such as a position at the Department of Justice.

“He came out early and strong for Trump, unlike many other Kansas Republicans. I think that he is very likely to be on a short list,” Smith says.

Kobach has been Trump’s most high-profile campaign surrogate in Kansas. Gov. Sam Brownback has also been mentioned as a possible choice for Trump’s secretary of agriculture. His office says Brownback is focused on governing Kansas.

Smith says choosing Brownback for a job seems less likely, because of Brownback’s low approval ratings and the fact that the governor didn’t endorse Trump in the primary.

“Kobach is the one to watch,” Smith says.

Stephen Koranda is the managing editor of the Kansas News Service, based at KCUR. He has nearly 20 years of experience in public media as a reporter and editor.