Republican Wins Special Congressional Election in Kansas

BREAKING: Democrat Thompson Loses a Close Race in Kansas GOP Stronghold

Republican state Treasurer Ron Estes will represent the Kansas 4th congressional district replacing Mike Pompeo, who Trump named as Central Intelligence Agency director.

The more important question, though, ought to be what, if anything, does the race between Republican State Treasurer Ron Estes and first-time Democratic candidate James Thompson portend about the next round of congressional races in 2018?

The late GOP infusion of resources was more about bolstering Estes' margin of victory than holding off a loss, Republican sources say, a concern that appear justified.

James Thompson is running against Republican Ron Estes to fill the seat that once belonged to Mike Pompeo, who is now the CIA Director.

Then came the doozy: Trump's tweet - and subsequent assertions - that President Barack Obama has ordered a wiretap of Trump Tower during the heat of the 2016 campaign. Thompson easily won voters who cast their ballots early and was poised to carry Wichita's Sedgwick County, which Trump won by 18 points. In order to regain control of the House, Democrats would need to gain 24 seat by the 2018 midterm election.

Lucy Jones-Phillips, a 31-year-old insurance representative and Democrat, acknowledged she doesn't vote in every election, but said she voted for Thompson because she wanted to register her disappointment in Brownback, especially his veto of an expansion of Medicaid.

In the final days of the race, however, Republicans scrambled to fend off what would have been a devastating upset.

While Democrats can benefit from attacking national politicians - Trump's approval rating is in the gutter, and House Speaker Paul Ryan's is outright in the sewer - there are no shortage of unpopular Republicans at the state level as well, people whose decisions more immediately impact constituents' lives.

Ron has been deeply involved in his community for years and I'm confident he will be a strong voice for Kansas' 4th Congressional District in Washington, D.C. Whether in the manufacturing industry or in public office, Ron has always worked to improve efficiency and find savings. Starting Tuesday, April 4, according to reports on file with the Federal Election Commission, they poured in $160,000 worth of advertising into the Wichita media market, with more than half of that spent on negative advertising against Thompson.

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Pompeo repeatedly won with big margins, and President Donald Trump carried the district easily past year.

It was the first special congressional election since Mr. Trump's election as president, and the first national test of his party's electoral strength.

Many argue that last night's close race is a sure sign of surging Democratic momentum in the age of Trump, the fruit of a "resistance" movement that is supposedly reacting decisively and in significant numbers against the Republican party at large.

"I know doctors, lawyers, who pay no taxes and watch their secretaries sweat their own tax bills", said Chuck Schmidt, 67, a retired schools superintendent who had driven 113 miles to Wichita to campaign for Thompson.

Felts applauded rural voters for going to the polls in the special election.

"People are already unhappy with Sam Brownback and they're seeing a lot of the same trends from Donald Trump", Mr. Ward said.

The Republican Party had to scramble furiously, in ways no one expected, to win by about 8 percentage points.

Libertarian Chris Rockhold also is on the ballot. In the 2012 presidential race, Romney won their districts by the same big margin, 55 percent to 43 percent.

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