Republican holds on in closely-watched Kansas special House election

Kansas state Treasurer Ron Estes deemed off a stronger-than-expected provoke from Democratic civil right advocate James Thompson Tuesday night as the GOP won the first special congressional referendum since President Trump’s inauguration.

The election was held to fill the House seat vacated by CIA Director Mike Pompeo, a former three-term representative of Kansas’ 4th district.

With 94 percentage of the precincts reporting, Estes had acquired 52 percent of the vote to 46 percentage for Thompson. The Republican’s margin was just under 6,500 polls. By compare, Pompeo’s narrowest victory, in 2014, was by time under 70,000 polls.

The race had been closely watched nationally for signs of a resistance against Republican or diminishing assist from Trump voters in a reliably Republican district. Trump acquired 60 % of votes throw in the 17 -county congressional district this past November.

The president himself entered the fray Monday with a recorded get-out-the-vote call on Estes’ behalf. On Tuesday morning, Trump tweeted: “Ron Estes is guiding TODAY for Congress in the Great State of Kansas. A terrific person, I requirement his help on Healthcare& Tax Cuts( Reform ). “

Estes subsidized Trump last year and backs the president’s plans. He supports the cancellation and substitution of the Affordable Care Act, backs funding for a wall on the border with Mexico, defends funded for Planned Parenthood, and does not believe an independent inquiry into Russian hacking of such elections is needed.

Other nationally known Republican pitched in over the last days of the hasten. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas campaigned for Estes Monday in Wichita, while Vice President Mike Pence likewise entered a get-out-the-vote entitle. The National Republican Congressional Committee depleted approximately $90,000 in last-minute TV and digital ads.

All those GOP requests elicited Charlene Health, a 52 -year-old homemaker and Republican in Belle Plaine, to throw a ballot for Estes.

“I wasn’t even “vote yes “, ” she replied as she left her polling site Tuesday morning. “I eventually did. I recognise this was important.”

Alan Branum, 64, a retired construction worker is a Wichita Democrat who voted for Estes and plans to change his party affiliation to Republican since he reclines most conservative. He feels Trump has been been doing fine so far.

“I don’t think it is fair beings criticize him, ” he replied of the chairman. “He hasn’t been in long enough to make a judgment. People need to give him some time.”

On the Democratic place, readers of the liberal blog Daily Kos gifted more than $200,000 to Thompson in the final days. Thompson was also backed by Our Revolution, the group that originated out of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign.

Lucy Jones-Phillips, a 31 -year-old insurance representative and Democrat, affirmed she doesn’t vote in every referendum, but said she voted for Thompson because she wanted to ensure those in favour of Gov. Sam Brownback are not in place. She was especially upset when the Republican governor recently vetoed Medicaid expansion.

“I can’t stand Brownback, ” she replied as she left her polling site in Belle Plaine.

Thompson tried to tap into voter frustration with Brownback throughout the campaign, bind the regime treasurer to the unpopular Republican governor. Thompson has called the Kansas congressional referendum more of a referendum on Brownback than on Trump.

But Thomas Hauser, 67, of Belle Plaine, a Republican who works in the information technology industry, said he crossed party line in Tuesday’s election to vote for Thompson. He likewise didn’t vote for Trump in the last year’s general election. Thompson appealed to Hauser in part because both men are ex-military but likewise because “I don’t believe in the( GOP) line.”

Republicans have represented the south-central Kansas district since 1994. The district has been hard hit by the downturn in the agricultural economy and the loss of hundreds of well-paying, blue-collar jobs in aircraft manufacturing plants.

With Estes’ victory, Republican are now representing three GOP-leaning sits in Georgia, Montana and South Carolina, while Democrats are shielding a seat in a liberal California district.

The Associated Press contributed to this report .

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