When the Johnson County provisional ballots were counted, and they increased Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s lead, Gov. Jeff Colyer realized that the path to victory in the Kansas governor’s race had narrowed to the vanishing point.
As of Tuesday evening, Kobach led Colyer by 345 votes. Colyer had outpolled Kobach 54-46 in Johnson County, but the Johnson County provisional votes narrowly favored Kobach. Seeing no hope for reversal, Colyer conceded and endorsed his opponent.
“This election is probably the closest in America. But the numbers are just not there unless we were to go to extraordinary measures,” said Colyer Tuesday evening. “Kansas is too important, the people of Kansas are too important, our children are too important.”
For his part, Kobach called Colyer a “worthy opponent” and wished him well. “I thank him sincerely for his service to the state of Kansas,” said Kobach. “I will work hard to advance our shared values, and I look forward to working with Governor Colyer and all Republicans to keep Kansas red in November.”
Kobach cited a tweet from President Donald Trump the day before the election. “I think it was absolutely crucial. There’s no question that the election day voting went much more strongly for me as compared to the advance voting,”
In November, Kobach will face Democrat Laura Kelly and independent Greg Orman.