Kobach: Governor should unify GOP if he loses

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -

The Latest on the primary election in Kansas (all times local):

6:15 p.m.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says unifying the Republican party ahead of the November election would be the most important task for Gov. Jeff Colyer if he loses to Kobach in Tuesday's primary.

Kobach was Colyer's most serious challenger in a seven-person race Tuesday for the Republican nomination for governor. President Donald Trump tweeted his endorsement of Kobach on Monday.

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If Colyer were to lose the primary, he would remain governor until January, when a new governor would be sworn in.

Kobach told reporters Tuesday afternoon that he doubts the governor would face major policy decisions before January, making GOP unity the big task.

Colyer was seeking a full, four-year term after becoming governor in January after former GOP Gov. Sam Brownback stepped down to take an ambassador's post.

3:15 p.m.

Some Republican voters in Kansas said President Donald Trump's endorsement of Secretary of State Kris Kobach mattered to them as they cast votes in the GOP primary for governor on Tuesday.

Tanya Hein, a 53-year-old seventh grade math teacher from Wichita, said she always planned to vote for Kobach but Trump's endorsement was "icing on the cake."

She said Colyer was part of former Gov. Sam Brownback's administration and she wanted someone with experience who was not tied to Brownback.

Richard Cronister, a 73-year-old retired construction company owner from Topeka, also said Trump's endorsement was important to him.

He said he thinks Trump's tax cuts have helped the economy and likes Trump's stance against illegal immigration.

He added that he likes Kobach's style: "It's refreshing to hear a politician tell the truth."

2:40 p.m.

Some Democratic Kansas voters were drawn to the polls not by the closely-watched governor's race, but by a contested race in the 3rd Congressional District. Six candidates are vying to take on incumbent GOP Rep. Kevin Yoder, who narrowly won in 2016 in a district won by Hillary Clinton in the presidential election.

Caroline Johnson, a 20-year-old student from Mission, says she voted Tuesday largely to support labor lawyer Brent Welder of Bonner Springs in the race, because Welder was backed by Sen. Bernie Sanders. She says Welder would bring "a fresh new face to government."

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But Sarah Plunkett, a 75-year-old retiree from Overland Park, says she voted for Tom Niermann, in part because he is a teacher and supports common-sense gun control. She says she's also motivated by dissatisfaction with President Donald Trump.

And Maggie Horn, a 52-year-old school paraprofessional from Mission, says she turned out to vote for Sharice Davids, the state's first gay and first Native American nominee for Congress. She says Davids' diverse background and experiences would bring a new way of thinking about solutions to the country's problems, which is "what the Democrats need."

1:45 p.m.

Voters heading to the polls in Wichita are reflecting the split among Republicans in supporting Gov. Jeff Colyer or his challenger, Secretary of State Kris Kobach.

Richard Stinnett is a 72-year-old retired truck driver. He says he voted for Kobach on Tuesday because he believes Colyer is "just a little over his head" as governor. Stinnett also says Kobach is similar to President Donald Trump, with common sense, accountability and the ability to get things done.

Bruce Underwood is a 59-year-old engineer. He says his vote for Colyer was really a vote against Kobach. He says he's a registered Republican but will probably vote for a Democrat for governor because Republicans aren't standing up to Trump, who has backed Kobach.

While the marquee race in Kansas this year is for governor , voters are also picking candidates to contest two House seats that Democrats are hoping to flip in November.

12 a.m.

While the marquee race in Kansas this year is for governor, voters are also picking candidates to contest two House seats that Democrats are hoping to flip in November.

Democrats will settle a six-candidate contest for the party's nomination in the Kansas City-area 3rd Congressional District held by four-term Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder. The race drew the attention of 2016 presidential candidate Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

What to know before you head to the polls

In the 2nd Congressional District of eastern Kansas, seven Republicans are vying for the right to challenge Democrat Paul Davis with Republican incumbent Lynn Jenkins not seeking re-election.

Republicans also had contested primaries for secretary of state and insurance commissioner.

All polling places across the state must open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m. local time. Find your polling place here

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