TOPEKA (KSNT)- Kansans are days away from voting in the primary election on Aug. 2.
There are many things on the ballot besides the Value Them Both amendment. One of those is determining who will go to the general election for the now open attorney general seat.
This week, 27 News spoke with attorney general candidates Kellie Warren and Tony Mattivi, two of three republican candidates in the race for attorney general. On Thursday, 27 News sat down with Kris Kobach who is looking to secure a spot for the general election in November.
The hot topic everyone wants to know about is the Value Them Both amendment. Kobach said he is 100% in favor of the amendment, calling the Kansas Supreme Court 2019 decision “horrendous”.
“It returns us to the prior status quo before the Kansas Supreme Court made that really horrible mistake,” Kobach said. “And as a result of that mistake, right now, you’re seeing a massive increase in people coming into Kansas to get abortions. We are becoming kind of the destination abortion state of the midwest. And that’s why the ‘yes’ vote is so critical,” Kobach said.
Kobach also stated a yes vote, “…would correct that error of the Kansas Supreme Court, and make clear that there is no constitutional right to an abortion in Kansas. Rather the legislature can decide how they want to regulate it.”
While speaking with Kobach, 27 News asked why some hesitate and oppose him running again. In 2018, the Kansas Chamber PAC endorsed both Kris Kobach and Derek Schmidt for governor and attorney general, respectively. Kobach’s run for attorney general did not garner the same support from the organization. The Kansas Chamber announced it would endorse Kellie Warren in the attorney general primary race.
When asked why he thinks groups like Kansas Chamber and Americans For Prosperity would choose another candidate, Kobach said it was because of opposing views.
“The [Kansas] Chamber of Commerce and Americans For Prosperity, they have been opposed to me in races in the past too,” Kobach said. “The main issue is that I disagree with them, sharply, on amnesty and illegal immigration. The Chamber of Commerce and Americans For Prosperity are very much pro-amnesty, more of an open borders outlook. We have some pretty sharp disagreements on those issues. I think they want somebody who will do what they tell him or her what to do. And they know that I have a mind of my own and that I will do what I believe the constitution requires.”
As for if he thinks the groups are not endorsing him because he lost in the general race for Kansas governor in 2018 and U.S. senate in 2020, he doesn’t think that plays a role.
“I’ve been in three statewide general elections, and I’ve won two out of three,” Kobach recalled. “And in one of those two victories, I defeated an incumbent democrat, that’s in 2010 when I first won the office of Secretary of State.”
The Kansas Chamber reached out to 27 News through email to clarify the comments made by Kobach about why he believes the organization didn’t endorse him this time around. A spokesperson with the Chamber said Kobach, “misstated and misrepresented its position on immigration and amnesty for illegal immigrants”, saying “unfortunately this is not the first time he has done this.”
“Kris Kobach’s claim regarding why he did not recieve the Kansas Chamber PAC’s endorsement is entirely false. He didn’t earn the endorsement because of his track record of failure- in the courtroom, as indicated by losing multiple cases costing Kansas taxpayers millions and being ordered by a federal judge to recieve legal education, as well as repeatedly losing at the ballot box. Kansas needs an attorney general who is competent, knows the law, and will serve our great state with intergirty. Kris Kobach’s record clearly shows he isn’t qualified to be the next attorney general of Kansas.”Alan Cobb, Kansas Chamber President and CEO
Kobach’s opponent, Kellie Warren has also been vocal in ad campaigns about the past two elections Kobach lost. In this Warren ad, the first clip includes a quote from the Hays Post on July 9, 2022, followed by an announcer saying he “keeps losing elections”.
“By that logic, I guess Abraham Lincoln should never have run for president after he lost in his U.S. Senate bid,” he said. “2022 is very different. Coming from somebody in Johnson County who’s run in a little, tiny legislative district, she may have the opinion that she can run statewide. But Johnson County isn’t Topeka. And Johnson County certainly isn’t Dodge City.”
As voters head to the polls on Aug. 2, Kris Kobach wants voters to understand what his values and priorities are if he wins the primary election for attorney general.
- The top priority is to set up special litigation units to sue President Joe Biden when the administration violates federal law or the constitution. He plans to lead the unit himself.
- The second priority is getting pro-life law back into place in Kansas if Value Them Both passes in the primary election
- The third priority is returning to prosecuting election crimes
- The fourth priority is making concealed carry permits free
- The fifth priority is enforcing criminal laws, such as drug crimes
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“If a voter agrees with me that we should be trying to stop the Biden administration when they violate federal law or violate the constitution, then they would want an attorney general who has the skillset, the ability to do that. My opponents, one doesn’t have the ability to do that, and the other one doesn’t have the willingness to do that. He said he may, he may not. But I am saying very clearly to the voters of Kansas, I have the ability to do this, I’ve already done it as a private attorney and I am going to do it as Kansas attorney general,” Kobach said.