Kris Kobach enters 2018 Kansas gubernatorial race

Posted at 11:39 AM, Jun 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-08 20:49:02-04

On Thursday, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach announced his candidacy for the 2018 gubernatorial race.

"It's time for Kansas to lead again and it's time to do the job that needs to be done," Kobach said.

At the Thompson Barn in Lenexa, Kobach laid out the three key points for his run, corruption, taxation and illegal immigration.

"The people of Kansas do not need to keep feeding the government with year after year of increased taxes," Kobach said.

The 51-year-old is currently the co-chair of President Donald Trump's commission on alleged voter fraud and has led efforts to pass strong voter ID laws.

"He really has a message that marries both the messages of Sam Brownback and Donald Trump, trying to appeal to those different kinds of conservatives so I think that right now on the Republican side, he is certainly the candidate to beat," Patrick Miller, assistant professor of political science at the University of Kansas said. 

Kobach's team launched a campaign website Thursday morning ahead of the scheduled noon news conference. 

"I think that we need a governor that will lead and will say 'look you get this bill on my desk or else you may be spending more time in Topeka this summer,’" Kobach told reporters after the announcement.

The Chair of the Kansas Democratic Party, John Gibson, released the following statement:

“It is the responsibility of the Kansas Democratic Party to elect a governor who is grounded in reality and represents the interests of all Kansans. That work is our focus. By nominating Kris Kobach for governor, the Republican Party would continue to endorse the failures of Sam Brownback. Whoever our colleagues on the other side of
the aisle choose as their standard bearer, we look forward to a vigorous debate about the direction of our state.”

Observers told 41 Action News Kansas voters are in for a wild ride come 2018.

"I think that there will be a lot of negativity in the race for sure given that we coming off eight years of an unpopular governor and the kind of tone that it’s going to bring," Miller said.