While Kansas Secretary of State would like to blame “God’s will” for his surprising loss to the Democratic candidate in his gubernatorial bid this week, state Republican strategists and people who worked for his primary challenger Gov. Jeff Colyer’s campaign say the fault is more tangible than divine intervention.
According to a new report from the Kansas City Star, Kobach was completely uninterested in campaigning and spent more time talking to the media than convincing constituents why they should vote for him. For one longtime GOP operative in Kansas, the campaign was the most “dysfunctional” they’d ever seen. For others, a “campaign” was non-existent.
“The joke was, you’d say ‘the Kobach campaign’ and (then) you’d say, ‘what campaign?’” one Republican strategist told the Star.
State Republicans say his platform was flawed too. Instead of following advice to soften his stance on school funding, Kobach doubled down and even focused on President Trump talking points in the final days of his campaign — like immigration — instead of state issues, according to the Star.
“He ran a poor campaign — anemic fund raising, failure to focus on voters’ top issues, no or ineffective statewide voter turnout program, and it seemed disorganized… One person told me he seemed more interested in talking to the media than in doing what it took to win a Governor’s election,” Clay Barker, who worked with Colyer’s primary campaign, told the Star in an email.
“Kris didn’t deserve to win,” another Republican said. “He does things his own way, check logic and reason at the door. I think it’s probably for the best that he didn’t win.”