Trump Throws Heft Into Special Election Contest In Kansas

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Kerry Picket Political Reporter
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President Donald Trump on Monday put his weight behind the Kansas Republican congressional candidate running in a tight special election for the seat vacated by Mike Pompeo, director of the CIA. Voters are expected to go to the polls Tuesday night.

Trump recorded a campaign robo-call, the Associated Press reported, for Republican Ron Estes who is running in the state’s 4th Congressional District against Democrat James Thompson.

“Republican Ron Estes needs your vote and needs it badly,” Trump said in the minute-long recording. “Our country needs help. Ron is going to be helping us, big league.”

Trump won the conservative Republican district by 27 points during the 2016 election, but the executive director of the Kansas Republican Party, Clayton Barker, told the Kansas Sentinel that the components of a special election are too unpredictable to take for granted.

His recorded call to the district comes after Vice President Pence recorded a robo-call for Estes last Saturday and amid Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz joining Estes on the campaign trail.

“There are more pro-Estes voters in the district, but the Democrats are more energized–driven by Trump-hate and still in a state of shocked disbelief at losing in November,” Barker said.

According to the Sentinel, National Republican Congressional Committee bought almost $100,000 in television and digital ads in anticipation of the April 11 election.

Additionally, while Democrats have a three-ballot lead in the number of advanced ballots returned, the Sentinel notes, advanced voting seems to favor Republican. At the close of Thursday, 1,357 more registered Republicans cast their ballot in person than registered Democrats.

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