KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Secretary of State Kris Kobach announced on Thursday that President Donald Trump will join him for a Topeka campaign event in October.
The announcement came weeks after Kobach narrowly defeated Gov. Jeff Colyer in the Kansas Republican gubernatorial primary.
With polls continuing to be tight in the governor’s race, Kobach said Trump’s visit could bring a big impact.
“The rally could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for people that live in the Topeka region,” he said. “He (Trump) will remind people that there’s a lot at stake in the Kansas gubernatorial election and he’ll remind people that November 6th is the day.”
Kobach and Trump have shared an open friendship dating back to Trump’s presidential campaign.
After endorsing Trump in the 2016 presidential race, Kobach has served as both a strong supporter and advisor to him.
“One thing the president is is persuasive. His rallies really get people motivated,” Kobach said on Thursday. “If this is like other Trump rallies, there should be thousands and thousands of people there and it’ll be really exciting.”
Shortly after the announcement, Kobach’s competitors responded to the presidential visit.
In a statement sent to 41 Action News, a campaign spokesperson for Democratic nominee Laura Kelly said the following:
"While Kris Kobach is focused on Washington, Laura Kelly is focused on rebuilding Kansas, funding our schools and balancing the budget. Kris can bring in whoever he’d like to try to convince Kansans we need to repeat Sam Brownback’s failed experiment, but it’s unlikely to work.”
Greg Orman, the independent nominee in the Kansas governor’s race, also released a statement that read:
“President Trump’s trade policies and tariffs are hurting Kansas farmers. The continuous implementation of Trump’s tariffs have the potential for serious long term negative impact on Kansas farmers. I hope that the President will take the time to listen to the concerns of Kansas farmers while he is in the state for his political rally.”
With the race expected to be tight on Election Day, political analyst and Park University professor Matt Harris said the visit from Trump could help boost turnout of Republicans.
“It speaks to the closeness and also to the relationship between Kobach and Trump,” he said. “It’s not just enough to get people to like you or enthused about you. You’ve got to get people to vote.”
Moving forward, Harris said other visits could be announced around Kansas due to the significance of the race.
“It’s a time where Democrats have a chance to get a governorship back,” he said. “Don’t be surprised if we see more visits from national political figures given how close this race is.”
The rally is slated for 6:30 p.m. Oct 6 at the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka.