U.S. Representative Marshall beats Kobach in Kansas Republican primary
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[August 05, 2020]
By Susan Cornwell
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Representative
Roger Marshall won the Kansas Republican primary for the Senate on
Tuesday, defeating anti-immigration firebrand Kris Kobach with the help
of the party establishment, which feared Kobach would hurt Republican
chances in the fall.
The race was among a number of Congressional primary contests in five
U.S. states on Tuesday. In Missouri, incumbent Representative William
Lacy Clay was ousted by progressive challenger Cori Bush in the
Democratic primary. Bush, a nurse, became a community activist after
Black man Michael Brown was fatally shot by police in 2014.
In Michigan, prominent progressive Representative Rashida Tlaib said she
was confident she would hold off a challenge from local Black leader
Brenda Jones, but results were trickling in.
The outcomes in Kansas, Michigan, Arizona, Missouri and Washington will
establish the nominees for the Nov. 3 elections to the House of
Representatives and Senate that will determine the balance of power in
Marshall, 59, was supported by establishment Republicans who feared a
polarizing figure like Kobach could lose the traditionally Republican
seat to Democrats, who could gain control of the Senate.
A doctor who has represented western Kansas in the House since 2017,
Marshall beat a crowded field. With 3,217 of 3,577 precincts reporting,
he had 40% of the vote, with Kobach at 26%, results from the Kansas
secretary of state said. A third candidate, Bob Hamilton, had 19%.
Marshall will run in November against the Democratic nominee state
Senator Barbara Bollier, a former Republican who won her primary easily.
Republicans currently have a 53-47 Senate majority, and non-partisan
analysts see the competition for Senate control as either a toss-up or
slightly favoring Democrats.
Kobach advised President Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign on
The Senate Leadership Fund (SLF), a political action committee aligned
with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, spent $2.1 million in the
primary to boost Marshall.
"SLF has been adamant from the day Kobach got in the race that he would
endanger Republican control of the Senate majority," the group said in a
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Republican gubernatorial candidate Kris Kobach greets supporters
shortly after the polls closed at his election night party in
Topeka, Kansas, U.S. November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Dave Kaup/File Photo
The Kobach and Tlaib races, as well as Bush's upset of Clay in
Missouri, are testing whether each party will steer to the right or
left, or stay closer to the political center.
Bush, 44, won the Democratic primary in Missouri's 1st congressional
district, which includes part of St. Louis, with 48.6% of the vote
to 45.5% for Clay, the New York Times said. She was endorsed by the
Justice Democrats, the same left-wing group that helped launch
progressive Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in 2018.
Both Bush and Clay are Black, and Clay or his father have
represented the district since 1969. In November, Bush will face
Anthony Rogers, who won the Republican primary.
“Tonight, Missouri’s 1st has decided that an incremental approach
isn’t going to work any longer,” Bush told her supporters. Another
Justice Democrat-backed candidate, Jamaal Bowman, recently ousted
Representative Eliot Engel in the New York primary.
Clay wasn't the only member of Congress who suffered an upset
Tuesday. Representative Steve Watkins of Kansas, who faces felony
charges of illegal voting, was defeated in the Republican primary by
the state treasurer, Jake LaTurner.
In Michigan, Tlaib is in a rematch against Jones, the Detroit City
Council President, who lost to Tlaib by fewer than 1,000 votes two
Tlaib, 44, is a member of the "Squad," four female freshmen,
including Ocasio-Cortez, who have become the face of the House's
In Arizona, Republican primary voters picked Senator Martha McSally
over challenger Daniel McCarthy, the New York Times said.
McSally trails astronaut Mark Kelly, who won the Democratic
nomination uncontested, in the polls and has about half of his $21
million campaign war chest.
(Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Additional reporting by Michael
Martina; Editing by David Gregorio and Christian Schmollinger)
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