Busy day of last minute campaigning

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Kobach sits in his campaign bus with his wife Heather and U.S. Rep. Ron Estes as they move from one campaign stop to another. Kobach sits in his campaign bus with his wife Heather and U.S. Rep. Ron Estes as they move from one campaign stop to another.
Laura Kelly at a campaign rally in Hutchinson on Monday. Laura Kelly at a campaign rally in Hutchinson on Monday.
Laura Kelly speaks with supporters at a campaign rally on Monday. Laura Kelly speaks with supporters at a campaign rally on Monday.
Greg Orman stopped by KAKE studios to answer questions during Monday campaigning. Greg Orman stopped by KAKE studios to answer questions during Monday campaigning.
(KAKE) -

With just 24 hours left to win over your vote, the three people vying to be the next Governor of Kansas spent their day crisscrossing South Central Kansas.  KAKE News had reporters spending time with all three of them, asking them about what to expect tomorrow and how they'll handle a potential delay in results in a too tight to call race.

Kris Kobach

by Pilar Pedraza

Republican Kris Kobach knows he's in a tight race for Kansas Governor.  He's thought about what he'll do if he isn't the clear winner on Tuesday night.  But for now he's concentrating on getting every supportive voter he can to the polls.

"You think, 'Oh, I can do this!  It'll be no big deal!'" Kobach says while speaking with supporters in Benton Monday morning.  

"And you don't think it's going to be this difficult," a supporter adds.

The day before the big election Kobach spent every second he could talking to voters.  He and his team covered South Central Kansas by plane and by bus.  Memories of the drawn-out primary kept him moving. 

Sitting in the Kobach bus somewhere between Benton and Derby, he said they're prepared for another tight finish.

"But it also chastens us," he adds.  "Reminds us we've got to do everything we can think of because you don't want to be on the short end of that 200 votes."

This bus has become almost a home away from home.

"How many hours have we been on this bus?" Kobach asks, repeating my question to the others riding with him.  "I don't know."

Even as he heads to one more event, Kobach is planning how to handle another close race.

"If the result is uncertain on on Tuesday night, and we're in a situation where we're going to have to wait a week again, to see all the provisional ballots being counted," Kobach said, "at that point, I would recuse myself like I did last time."

He also says he'll wait until every vote is counted if necessary to make sure the winner is the actual winner.

"The people of Kansas want to see the true winner being declared the winner. So I think if it were super close like that. I think it'd be perfectly reasonable for both candidates or all three candidates in this case to hold off and say, 'All right, let's just wait and see what the results look like after provisional ballots or recounting." 

Rather than plan for a potential recount or possible lawsuits, Kobach says he's counting on getting as many people out to vote as he can in hopes of preventing a tie Tuesday night.  That goes for voters whether they're in  Wichita and in Dodge City.  Kobach says complaints he is trying to disenfranchise voters in Dodge City are missing some facts.

"That's a county I have always done very well in. So why in the world would I or anyone who supports me want to depress turn out in Ford County? We want to maximize turn out in Ford County, from a political perspective," he said.  

As for accusations the decision to move the single polling site in Dodge City south of the city limits, a mile from the nearest bus stop, was an attempt to chip away at the Hispanic vote, he says that doesn't make sense to him since the new site is closer to Hispanic neighborhoods in town. 

"I don't see how you could say that the county clerk was trying to depress turn out or act in a way that was discriminatory toward anyone in the city. It's just a local decision...and that's done all over the place in Kansas."

Laura Kelly

by Greg Miller

Democrat Laura Kelly hopes to be the first female democratic Governor Kansas in nearly ten years. So she spent Monday on a four-city tour form Salina to Wichita, encouraging supporters to cast their ballot if they haven’t already.

“Kansans get it,” she told KAKE News Anchor Greg Miller. “They know we’ve been through a world of hurt these past eight years.”

She targeted her message all day - trying to tie opponent Kris Kobach to former Governor Sam Brownback and the tax policy she said broke the state, especially hitting education hard.

Throughout her campaign, she’s touted herself as a negotiator that’s willing and able to compromise with republicans to help the people of the state. It’s why she even had a former republican governor with her on the trail.

“I think that on the heels of Sam Brownback, it takes somebody like Laura Kelly to get the state headed in the right direction,” said former Governor Bill Graves.

Kelly admits the race is close, and turnout will be key.

“Get out and vote,” she said. “This will be a very close election. Every vote counts. We’ve seen some very tight races throughout the primary and the general.”

She also touched on the controversy in Dodge City, and accusations of voter suppression after the city’s only polling place was moved outside of city limits.

“Lyft and Uber drivers are going to be free of charge. Dodge City public transport – same thing door to door. We could see record-breaking voting, going on in Dodge City,” she said. “I think this is going to head to the polls.”

Supporters at her rally are standing behind her.

“I wanted to meet her,” said Karen Buser said. “And tell her how much I love what she’s doing.”

“We’re at a point in this state where we need to make a change,” Robert Wellborn said.

Kelly also spent time in Andover, but plans to spend election night in Topeka.

Greg Orman

By Krista Miller

Polls show Independent Greg Orman as a distant third in the Kansas Gubernatorial Race, and some Laura Kelly supporters have called for him to drop out of the race, fearing he will "take" votes from her.

"As I've traveled throughout the state and heard it as recently as today, we're polling support from Republicans, from Democrats, from Independents," said Orman Monday.

The businessman is hoping anyone who hasn't decided for whom to vote strays from the two major parties.

"Voters from across the political spectrum are coming to our campaign, because I think they realize I'm the only person who's going to shake up Topeka," Orman added.

Orman has an uphill battle if he stands a chance in this midterm election.

Polls have consistently shown him in a distant third in the race, with the exception of this poll from the Wichita Business Journal.

In an unscientific poll, online readers made their choice for governor.

Orman came away with 54 percent of the vote, Republican Kris Kobach had 25 percent and Democrat Laura Kelly garnered 18 percent.

"I'm the only person who's going to deliver them the government they deserve. So it doesn't surprise me that a poll from the Wichita Business Journal would reflect that," said Orman.

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