WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Chris Mann, the Democratic nominee for Kansas Attorney General, released a statement Thursday conceding the race to Republican nominee Kris Kobach.

“While mail and provisional ballots will still be counted through the weekend, the outcome of the attorney general’s race will likely not change. I congratulate Kris Kobach on his election to this important office. I ask him – on behalf of all Kansans – to put aside divisive politics and focus on the safety and security of all Kansans. 

“I must express deep gratitude to my family and friends. My wife, Ashley, and our children – thank you for your support during this difficult and sometimes grueling year. This was a new experience for all of us, and I could not have done it without you.

“To my staff, thank you for the long days and hard work that each of you put into this campaign. You have made a lasting impact on me, and I’m proud of each of you. 

“As a first-time candidate – a law enforcement guy, and not a politician – I learned a lot this year. Some good, some bad. But at the end of the day, I am proud to have been part of this historic year in Kansas.

“You know, ever since I was a kid, I’ve wanted to serve the public. I remember when I was young, I’d watch my dad leave for work as a police officer. I knew that was going to be my life’s mission. Of course, life has a way of interrupting our plans.

“As many of you know, my path of service had a few big obstacles. But my faith led me through those painful and challenging times. Despite being forced to give up my career in uniform, I kept looking for new ways to serve the state of Kansas. And that is why I ran for office this year. 

“This campaign was never about politics for me, it was about service. And my life will continue to be about service from this day forward.

“I know we’re all disappointed by this outcome. We’re saddened by the division that led us here. But, I’m not going to give up – and neither should you. We must continue to demand accountability from our leaders, and we must continue to fight for freedom.

“Kansas made history in August – and I’m incredibly proud of that. Unfortunately, sometimes progress is not linear. We must continue to work together to protect the rights of our friends and neighbors. Continue to ask tough questions and demand answers. And continue to make our voices heard on the issues we care about the most. 

“It has been an honor to travel the state and meet so many Kansans. Thank you for your support during the last year,” Mann said in a statement on his website.