Sunday, 21 January, 2018

Republicans survive election scare, narrowly win Kansas seat

Republican candidate Ron Estes gives his victory speech Republican candidate Ron Estes gives his victory speech. Nadya Faulx KMUW
Alfredo Watts | 19 April, 2017, 01:58

Republican Ron Estes has won the special election for the U.S. House seat in the 4th congressional district of Kansas, according to The Associated Press.

Republican Ron Estes won the election by only a seven-point margin after Pompeo's margin of victory in the fall was 31 points.

In a triumphant victory speech, Estes, mocked the pundits and media who said his victory was ever ind doubt. "Trump won this district by nearly 30 points, and Pompeo never won less than 60 percent of the vote".

The fourth congressional district - like most of the surrounding area in south central Kansas - is rock-solid Republican.

The Kansas election was the first of four special elections to fill seats in the House of Representatives - where Republicans now hold a 237-193 majority - to replace Republicans who took top jobs in the Trump administration. Democrats and other Trump critics in Kansas rallied around Thompson in hopes of dealing the White House a staggering defeat in its first months. "It probably took all three to get Thompson this close".

The 2nd District seat will be open because Republican incumbent Lynn Jenkins does not plan to seek re-election.

Libertarian Chris Rockhold garnered 2 percent of the vote.

Alan Branum, 64, a retired construction worker is a Wichita Democrat who voted for Estes and plans to change his party affiliation to Republican since he leans more conservative.

The National Republican Congressional Committee channeled $92,000 into the race in its final days.

Felts applauded rural voters for going to the polls in the special election.

Republicans, especially Trump supporters, would like to blame the numbers on dissatisfaction with Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, but Brownback's approval rating is actually 4 percent higher in 2017 than it was in 2016.

Republicans have had a hard stretch, with the health care debacle, federal and congressional probes into Trump campaign contacts with Russian officials and contentious town halls in congressional districts.

Far surpassing the price tag of the Kansas race is the contest in Georgia's sixth congressional district, set for April 18.

It was a victory for Trump as much as it was a victory for The Republican candidate.

Gallup said the drop in support could be due to "failure by party leaders to fulfill campaign pledges on major pieces of legislation such as tax reform and healthcare". Senator Ted Cruz flew in to stump for Estes and both Vice-President Mike Pence and President Donald Trump recorded robocalls urging his election.

Estes said he will go to Washington to work for a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution and to repeal the 2010 health care law championed by former President Barack Obama.

A county-by-county breakdown of results is available at the Kansas secretary of state website.

"This is a district that's been reliably Republican".

If Democrats won, it would have been a boost for the party ahead of more special elections in Montana and Georgia - as well as a recruitment tool in more competitive districts for next year's mid-term Congressional elections.