WICHITA, Kan. (AP) – Today is Election Day in Kansas with a special election taking place to fill the 4th Congressional District seat. The eyes of the nation are on this district because normally a Republican would win in a landslide but late polls show the district only slightly leaning GOP. If Democrat James Thompson beats Republican Ron Estes it will be “a shot heard round the world,” a thumbs down on the Trump agenda.
President Trump was forced to step into the special congressional race by recording a call urging prospective voters to cast their ballots for the Republican candidate. The Associated Press obtained a recording of the call Monday as the Estes campaign started using it ahead of today’s election.
Trump said in the call: “Republican Ron Estes needs your vote and needs it badly.”
Estes is in a tougher-than-expected race against Democrat Thompson. They’re seeking to replace Mike Pompeo after Trump named Pompeo CIA director.
Kansas’ unexpectedly competitive special congressional election has pulled Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to Wichita to campaign for Estes amid a flood of out-of-state GOP money in a late-hour scramble for votes.
Civil rights attorney James Thompson, is spending the final day of campaigning talking directly to voters. His campaign announced Monday that it hit 20,000 in total donors, with most people giving small-dollar contributions. Thompson’s campaign says he’s countering the visit by Cruz – who vied with Donald Trump for the Republican presidential candidacy – by knocking on doors, going to diners and doing interviews.
At stake is a House seat Republicans have held for more than two decades. Trump easily won with 60 percent of the votes cast in the 17-county congressional district of south-central Kansas.
Barbara Russum contributed to the article