Governor Jeff Colyer conceded from the race for Governor Tuesday night, making Secretary of State Kris Kobach the Republican Party’s nominee.
“Kansas is too important, the people of Kansas are too important,” he said in his speech.
The governor said conceding was for the good of the Republican Party winning in November.
“I’ve just had a conversation with the Secretary of State and I congratulated him on his success and I repeated my determination to keep this seat in Republican hands.”
Colyer’s concession comes one week after the primary election and after a neck-and-neck race to the finish line.
This week, counties started counting provisional ballots, and after Johnson County reported it’s numbers late Tuesday afternoon, Colyer said the numbers weren’t in his favor.
“Tracey and I will not challenge this in court, nor will we ask for a recount,” he said.
Earlier Tuesday evening, Kobach addressed the media calling on the Republican party to come together.
“Whenever Republicans in Kansas are separated, Republicans in Kansas lose. We’ve seen that happen again and again and it is so essential, because we’ve seen when we march together, we win together,” Kobach said.
After Colyer’s concession, Kobach sent out the following statement:
“He was incredibly gracious, and that meant a lot after such a hard-fought campaign,” Kobach said. “I want to thank Gov. Jeff Colyer for a race well run. He was a worthy opponent, and I thank him sincerely for his service to the state of Kansas. 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.”
Colyer took over as governor seven months ago after then Governor Sam Brownback left for a position in the Trump administration.
Colyer said he would spend his remaining months in office leading the state.
“We want to thank the thousands of people who voted for us,” Colyer said.
In November, Kobach will face Democratic candidate State Senator Laura Kelly, Independent candidates Greg Orman and Rick Kloos, and Libertarian candidate Jeff Caldwell.
Sam Edelen, the campaign spokesman for Orman, released the following the statement:
“Kansas voters will have a clear choice in November between two career politicians who have been part of the problem in Topeka or an Independent businessman, Greg Orman, who will put the people ahead of party bosses and special interests.”
Senator Kelly’s campaign also weighed in, saying:
“With Kris Kobach as governor, Kansans get all of the failed policies of Sam Brownback plus Kobach’s unique brand of hyper-partisanship and self-promotion. Quite simply, Kris Kobach is Sam Brownback on steroids, and that’s the last thing that Kansans need right now.”