Politics

Kobach, set to oversee possible recount, sees lead shrink in Kansas gubernatorial race

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, leading by just 121 votes in the state’s Republican gubernatorial primary, has no plans to recuse himself from a potential recount in the race, despite the fact that he leads the same office that would oversee the process.

Kobach’s lead in the race shrunk by more than half on Thursday when election officials discovered a clerical error made by his office when counting returns from Thomas County, which lies in the northeast corner of the state.

Thomas County Clerk Shelly Harms told ABC News on Thursday that the Kansas Secretary of State’s office confirmed to her that the error was made by their office and not at the county level, and that the official tally she submitted counted 522 votes for incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer and 466 for Kobach.

According to the Associated Press, there were also votes in Haskell County that were not counted on election night. With those votes included, the margin between Colyer and Kobach stoof at 121 as of Thursday evening.

Colyer also sent a letter Thursday to Kobach requesting that he stop advising local election officials before the results in the race have been officially certified.

“It has come to my attention that your office is giving advice to county election officials – as recently as a conference call yesterday — and you are making public statements on national television which are inconsistent with Kansas law and may serve to suppress the vote in the ongoing Kansas primary election…

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