Kris Kobach’s primary race for Kansas governor is still too close to call — and because he’s still secretary of state, Kobach plans to defy ethical concerns and lead his own recount.
The Kansas Republican gubernatorial primary between sitting Gov. Chris Colyer and current Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach ended in a near dead heat Tuesday.
And by Wednesday, Kobach had already announced that if there is a recount, he as secretary of state will be in charge of running it.
Kobach told the Kansas City Star that he would not recuse himself from any recount effort. He claimed that “the secretary of state does not actually participate directly in the recount,” and that his office “merely serves as a coordinating entity overseeing it all, but not actually counting the votes.”
But as the paper notes, if Gov. Colyer were to request a hand recount, Colyer would be required to pay his opponent’s office “a bond to pay for the cost and Kobach would get to set the price.”
There is no law requiring Kobach to recuse himself. Many experts and lawmakers have urged him to do so, but Kobach doesn’t seem to feel compelled to do the right thing.
Kobach was recently found to have employed a trio of white supremacists on his campaign — but he still managed to secure a late endorsement from Trump.
But Kobach’s obsession with suppressing the vote long predates Trump’s time in office.
As Kansas secretary of state, Kobach has lobbied for and overseen the implementation of a raft of voter suppression laws, including a 2011 proof-of-citizenship law that has been repeatedly struck down in the courts.
Even as Kansans went to the polls on Tuesday, Kobach was on Fox News claiming that his failed commission had seen evidence of “thousands” of cases of voter fraud — a claim that was quickly debunked by election experts.
Kobach has spent his career trying to cheat people out of their votes. So it’s little surprise that when given the chance to avoid even the appearance of conflict of interest in an election, he leapt away from it.