(NewsNation) — NewsNation/ Decision Desk HQ has called the race for Kansas attorney general in favor of Kris Kobach.
Democrat Chris Mann was locked in a race with Republican Kris Kobach for the Kansas attorney general seat currently occupied by Republican Derek Schmidt, who entered the Kansas gubernatorial race in March 2021.
Kobach, a former Kansas secretary of state, previously lost his bid for Kansas governor in 2018 and later was defeated in his campaign for U.S. Senate. He built a national profile as a staunch opponent of illegal immigration and an advocate for voter ID laws.
The former secretary of state championed a 2013 law that would have required voters in Kansas to provide proof of citizenship when they register. A federal appeals court later struck down that law.
On the opposite side of the aisle, Democrat Chris Mann, a former police officer, had never run for public office before. His career in uniform came to an end after getting hit by a drunken driver. Mann went on to become a prosecutor in Kansas City, Kansas.
Throughout his campaign, Mann emphasized his public service and painted his opponent as a career politician looking for attention.
Kobach was one of the first elected officials in the state to endorse former President Donald Trump in 2016 and later served as vice chairman of a Trump commission on election fraud. He had vowed to pursue such cases if he won his bid for attorney general.
Earlier this year, Kansas voters overwhelmingly rejected a ballot measure that would have removed protections for abortion rights from the Kansas Constitution. The referendum, which failed by 18 percentage points, would have given the state legislature the right to further restrict or ban abortion.
Kobach backed the measure but said he’d defend existing abortion restrictions as attorney general. Mann ran attack ads questioning the sincerity of Kobach’s position and promised to protect Kansans’ freedom.
Both Kobach and Mann said they would uphold the Second Amendment during an October debate, but differed on the specifics. Kobach said he opposed “red flag laws” and bans on assault weapons like AR-style rifles. Mann said he was a gun owner but thought that violent offenders should not have access to guns.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.