GOP wins tight Kansas race in first House vote of Trump admin

Kansas 4th District congressional candidate Ron Estes, front left, thanks Sen.

That GOP concern has spread nationwide as other states prepare for their own special elections, he said.

Zac Petkanas, who recently departed from running the Democratic National Committee's Trump war room, said the same standard applies to Democratic opposition to Trump's nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, even though it resulted in Republicans changing Senate rules to get Gorsuch confirmed.

He said the results show Democrats that, "You fight".

Estes won by roughly 10,000 votes over Democrat James Thompson, a civil rights attorney.

Gov. Brownback will appoint a replacement state treasurer as Estes heads to Washington, D.C. All statewide offices will be on the 2018 ballot.

"Beyond that, it's clear that grassroots supporters will continue to play a pivotal role in the 2018 midterms by supporting and energizing House Democratic candidates deep into the map", spokeswoman Meredith Kelly said. That surge in cash to one race forced the Republican leadership to defend against all three of the special elections held this year to replace Trump appointments.

"We came a lot closer than everyone thought we were going to be at the beginning of the race, because from the very beginning people wrote us off as having absolutely no shot", Thompson's spokesman Chris Pumpelly said.

It was the first special congressional election since Donald Trump's election as president.

Brownback's associates also dismissed the idea the governor was a drag on Estes.

In the end, it was not to be; once election day voting from Sedgwick started coming in with less overwhelming Democratic margins, and rural counties began reporting their usual massive GOP percentages, Thompson faded. In an ultra-conservative district that Trump won by 27 points in November, Estes won by only 7 points.

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No, this is a Trump Slump for Republicans.

Two Republicans strategists familiar with polling data in two of the special election races say the main problem is not that independents and moderate voters have swung en masse to Democrats.

National Democratic groups, such as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic National Committee, need to compete everywhere, Thompson contended. Nor was Rep. -elect Ron Estes, the state treasurer, a particularly flawed GOP candidate.

"A wonderful guy", Trump tweeted about Estes on Tuesday. A tally Tuesday morning showed more than 12,600 donors to Thompson. If no one reaches 50%, the top two vote-getters will compete in a runoff election June 20.

On Tuesday, Thompson took nearly 46 percent of the vote-improving on the Democratic percentage from 2016 by more than 16 points. The Democratic Party is committed to organizing in every zip code because the American people deserve a level playing field and policies that help them get ahead.

Kiowa County voters gave Estes 80 percent of the vote and Edwards County voters, 78 percent.

Losing those kinds of voters helps explain why Republicans hold a 237-193 majority House majority (241-194 before five vacancies).

"The biggest thing Trump and Republicans have put on the table collapsed in flames", Longabaugh continued, referring to Speaker Paul Ryan's failure to win a health overhaul.

"There's some discontent", said Mike O'Neal, a Republican consultant who used to work for the Kansas Chamber of Commerce.

Republican voters may not want to vote for the governor's race either, but in districts that historically send a Republican to congress, Republican turnout is more predictable. "More noise and more hype than substance", commented Estes, who cast his vote for Trump.

Estes took 53 percent of the vote to Democrat James Thompson's 46 percent in the race for Kansas' southern 4th District.

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