Kansas AG race pits familiar name against former police officer, prosecutor

Kris Kobach is back in the Kansas elections spotlight after narrowly winning the GOP primary for state attorney general.
Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 10:10 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A close race ended with a familiar name taking the Republican nomination for Kansas Attorney General. But it comes with some concerns over his chances in the November general election.

After a tight primary race, former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach will face Democratic candidate, Chris Mann, who ran unopposed in Tuesday’s Democratic primary for Kansas AG.

Mann, a former police officer turned prosecutor, said as attorney general, he’ll focus on law enforcement, not politics. He also said he will defend the constitution and protect Kansas families.

Kobach said if elected attorney general in November, he will be an AG for all Kansans and, he said, will bring more lawsuits against the Biden administration.

This brings Kobach back in the political spotlight in November. In 2018, he lost the Kansas Governor’s race to Democrat Laura Kelly. He then lost the U.S. Senate race primary in 2020 to Roger Marshall.

Wichita State University Political Science Chair Dr. Neal Allen said Kobach being back in a high-profile race facing another Democrat might bring some concerns to Republican voters. “A lot of Republicans blame Kris Kobach for losing the governor’s race in 2018. I’m not certain that’s true. I think Laura Kelly would’ve had a tight race against Governor Colyer or another Republican,” Dr. Allen said. “But Kobach certainly made it more difficult for Republicans in 2018 and he’s going to do that to a lesser extent in the attorney general’s race.”

Dr. Allen said he believes the race in November between Kobach and Mann is a toss-up because this is Mann’s first political campaign of any kind. He said again, Kobach will not have full backing from Republican voters.

“Certainly, Democrats are very excited by getting to run against Kobach again,” Dr. Allen said. “They have a candidate in Chris Mann who’s a former prosecutor from Wyandotte County. I’m sure that he’ll make the claim that he can bring competency to the attorney general’s office in a way that Kobach has not shown whenever he was in previous positions.”

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