Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
U.S. | By Eddie Scott

Republican Ron Estes Wins Congressional Seat in Contested Race

Republican Ron Estes Wins Congressional Seat in Contested Race

Ted Cruz (R-Texas) also campaigned for Estes in Wichita.

Voters in Kansas' fourth congressional district are heading to the polls on Tuesday in an unexpectedly close race.

Kansas Farm Bureau president Rich Felts said rural voters decided the 4th Congressional District race, where the KFB's endorsed candidate Republican Ron Estes won.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee did 25,000 live calls in the final two days before the race to support Thompson.

Estes supported Trump past year and backs the president's policies.

That said, the results in Kansas serve as a reminder to the political world that, as things stand, the GOP is facing serious headwinds - and they have no idea how to improve their standing.

Upcoming special elections for vacant congressional seats could give hints of what to expect for the midterm campaigns in 2018.

The district is solidly Republican - Trump won the district in the general election by 27 points and 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney won the district by eight points. "You play every game".

"Ron Estes is running TODAY for Congress in the Great State of Kansas". Estes defeated civil rights lawyer James Thompson by only about five percentage points, suggesting some backlash against Republicans since November. Nor was Rep. -elect Ron Estes, the state treasurer, a particularly flawed GOP candidate.

Jon Ossoff isn't running against Donald Trump.

Estes told cheering supporters in Wichita that "we need to make America work for us".

In a further warning sign for Republicans, Estes narrowly lost the district's most populous county around the city of Wichita to his Democratic opponent James Thompson, a political newcomer.

Now, the resistance turns to Georgia, which holds a closely watched special election next week.

Loomis said Republicans "panicked" as the election neared.

Republicans have represented the south-central Kansas district since 1994. But on the morning after the election, it appears the president was savoring the unimpressive victory. If Ossoff can clinch 50 percent of the vote against a crowded field of Republican contenders, he will avoid a runoff election.

Congressional elections are zero-sum affairs: candidates vie for a seat, the victor earns the opportunity to serve, and the loser gets nothing. Estes did not focus on Trump in his race, and although he is expected to be a reliable vote for Republicans in the House, he opposed the GOP health-care bill that was pulled before the congressional recess. On April 18, there is another special election in a deep-red district that is hotly contested.

"Today the eyes of the whole country are upon Kansas", Cruz said at the campaign rally. Vice President Mike Pence also recorded a get-out-the-vote call on behalf of Estes, the state's treasurer.

Republican Mike Estes beat Democrat James Thompson by almost seven points in the special election in Kansas' 4th Congressional district, which has a Cook index of R+15 and which Donald Trump won by 27 points last November.

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