Republican Kris Kobach has announced he’s running for Kansas attorney general, bringing him back into state politics after his failed bids for governor and the US Senate.
The polarising conservative first signalled the political move by appointing a treasurer for his run for Kansas attorney general. Then he held a press conference on Thursday to confirm the candidacy.
“On a host of issues from a federal takeover of elections, to attempts to restrict our Second Amendment rights, the Biden administration and its allies in Congress have disregarded the constitutional limits on federal power. The most important officer who can fight back against such unconstitutional actions is a state attorney general,” Mr Kobach said, hinting he would take on the White House on the above issues if elected.
Prior to this run, Mr Kobach served as the Kansas’ secretary of state from 2011 to 2019 and strongly aligned himself with former President Donald Trump.
Mr Kobach’s relationship with the president included him working on a committee that Mr Trump created to investigate potential wrongdoings during the 2016 election race. This committee was later disbanded after they were unable to find any evidence of widespread fraud.
Then he went on to run for governor in 2018 but lost the race to Democratic candidate Laura Kelly, an upset given the state of Kansas leans Republican.
Mr Kobach also attempted a US Senate run in 2020 but lost in the Republican primary to now-Senator Roger Marshall.
This run for attorney general might be an important test for Mr Kobach and Mr Trump, as it could indicate if the former president still has a pull within the GOP after losing the 2020 presidential election.
Mr Kobach has previously ostracised independent and moderate Republican voters for his restrictive immigration policies and tough voter identification laws.
He also made headlines for becoming the first prominent Kansas elected official to endorse Mr Trump when he was running for president in 2016.
Besides pushing strict immigration reform, Mr Kobach also promised while running for governor to shrink the state government so the state could instead focus on cutting taxes.
Mr Kobach was looking to replace the current attorney general, Republican Derek Schmidt – who has launched a campaign against the state governor for next year’s election.
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