With the epic battle for the Senate taking up media space, one might have missed a less publicized victory for the position of Kansas Secretary of State even though liberals brandished their long knives against the incumbent Republican, Kris Kobach (pictured).The present Secretary is no ordinary political suit; he is a one-man brain room for authoring immigration enforcement legislation and policy strategies like voter ID to combat voter fraud.The successful pursuit of those two issues has earned Kobach uber-enmity from the far left, since lefties like open borders and frequent voting by ineligible persons. Liberals additionally claim that voter fraud is a non-existent problem (wrong) and therefore should not be prevented.After being elected Kansas Secretary of State in 2010, he remarked in an anti-Democrat two-fer, “I am going to be using my spare time trying to stop illegal immigration instead of playing golf.”Because of his concerns about the threat to national sovereignty, Kobach has been attacked by the left with their sharpest poison pens. The New Republic called him “America’s Worst Republican” in September, while the Daily Kos dubbed him merely the “worst secretary of state in the nation”. In 2011, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote, “When Mr. Kobach Comes to Town: Nativist Laws and the Communities They Damage”.These people really hate law and borders!Nevertheless, Kobach prevailed, with 59 percent of the vote versus his opponent’s 41.
Kris Kobach fends off challenger Jean Schodorf to win secretary of state race, Wichita Eagle, November 5, 2014Secretary of State Kris Kobach fended off a tough challenge from Wichita Democrat Jean Schodorf on Tuesday night in a race that served as a referendum on the state’s proof-of-citizenship voting requirement.With most of the state’s precincts reporting, Kobach held a comfortable lead over Schodorf.“We’re going to continue to have the toughest security laws in the country to make sure our elections are fair,” Kobach said in his victory speech at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Topeka. “Because you know, at the end of the day if any of these races are close, you’re going to want to know, you’re going to want to have the confidence that every single vote was cast by a legitimate voter. And he we have the confidence in Kansas.”Kobach, who was joined by his daughters, Lillian and Reagan, thanked his volunteers for donating their time and shoe leather to knock on doors in the tough campaign.“It’s very satisfying,” Kobach said afterward. “My opponent had some pretty harsh words for me, and in a race like this, it’s emotionally taxing and tiring. And it’s good when you come out on top.”Schodorf, who watched the results privately, had not shown up at the Democratic Party watch party at Loft 150 over the River City Brewing Co. in Old Town before supporters began trickling out at about 9:45 p.m. She expected a long night, said her political and field representative, Marcus Williamson.“We still have a lot of precincts that haven’t been officially reported,” he said. “We’re going to be watching those throughout the night.”Kobach carried Sedgwick County – Schodorf’s home county – with 54 percent of the vote, according to final unofficial results.In the coming legislative session, Kobach plans to push for prosecutorial power for the secretary of state’s office to enable him to prosecute suspected cases of voter fraud.A former state Republican chairman and a prominent attorney, he was criticized for requiring proof of citizenship in order to register to vote, a policy that had left more than 21,000 prospective voters in suspended status ahead of Election Day.Kobach has vigorously defended the policy, arguing that every time a noncitizen votes, it robs citizens of their votes. He also says that those on the suspended list can be removed from it as long as they provide the necessary documents, such as a birth certificate or passport, to their county election office.“There’s not a single of one of those people that can’t register to vote. The fallacy that the Democratic Party is putting out there is that there’s any barrier,” Kobach said last week.Schodorf voted for the policy as a member of the Kansas Senate, where she served as a Republican before losing her state Senate primary in 2012, but has criticized Kobach’s implementation and promised to make reducing the number of voters on the suspension list her top priority if elected.“I want to make it as easy as I can for citizens to vote,” Schodorf said at a forum for black and Latino voters in Wichita last month. “I have plans so that (Kansas) will be number one (in the country) for voter turnout.”Kobach’s impartiality as the state’s chief election officer has sometimes been questioned. His political action committee, the Prairie Fire PAC, sent out mailers attacking moderate Republicans ahead of the primary, and his controversial decision to keep Democrat Chad Taylor on the ballot for U.S. Senate despite his submission of a withdrawal letter was seen by some observers as an attempt to help U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, who is in a tight race against independent Greg Orman.Kobach says his PAC spends money in support of candidates who support secure elections and has continued to defend his handling of the Taylor matter even after the Kansas Supreme Court ordered that his name be removed in a ruling that chastised Kobach for overstepping his bounds as secretary of state.Russell Fox, a political scientist at Friends University, called Kobach a political lightning rod “for people to say, ‘Yeah, it’s this particular kind of conservatism, it’s this particular type of extremism, it’s this particular type of uncompromising purity that is ruining the party.’ ”However, Kobach has led Schodorf in most polls – albeit by a narrow margin – and Fox expected him to keep his position even if Gov. Sam Brownback and Roberts lose their races. He said that many Republican voters who go for Orman or Democrat Paul Davis in the governor’s race will continue to check Republican boxes further down on the ticket.“If there’s anyone in this state who should have this biggest target on his back and should be able to be beaten by his own party’s abandonment, you’d think it would be Kobach, and yet it’s not,” said Chapman Rackaway, a professor of political science at Fort Hays State University.“Now some of that may simply be that the profiles of the other races, the high attention that’s been paid to the governor’s and Senate races, has pushed the secretary of state down in people’s minds,” Rackaway said.