Much to Secretary of State race

By

Opinion

October 15, 2018 - 9:29 AM

Kansans have two chances to vote on Kris Kobach next month — on Kobach himself in the gubernatorial race, and on his legacy in the Secretary of State (SOS) race. Kobach’s tenure as SOS has been marred with mismanagement: failures to update the SOS website, shortfalls in overseeing election technology and officials, tens of thousands of Kansans unable to navigate the bureaucratic red tape that Kobach created in the voter registration process, and failed and costly court battles. Kansans must choose how to move that office forward.

Polling shows that the SOS race is competitive. The Democrat, Brian “BAM” McClendon, is running an actual campaign, something that Kansas Democrats do not always do. McClendon is a former Google and Uber executive who has returned to Kansas, but grew up here, graduated from KU, and co-founded the nonprofit KSVotes.org to promote online voter registration. This is his first run for office.

The Republican, Scott Schwab, should normally be favored in a down-ballot race like this simply by being a Republican in Kansas, but has had a muted campaign. A native Kansan who works in healthcare sales, Schwab has served in the state legislature from Johnson County for thirteen years and, most relevant, formerly chaired the House Elections Committee. His legislative voting record easily puts him in the Brownback-Kobach mold of Republicans.

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