Republicans dodge Kansas nightmare as Marshall defeats Kobach

Rep. Steve Watkins lost his primary as well.

Rep. Roger Marshall won the GOP primary for an open Senate seat in Kansas on Tuesday, turning aside the controversial Kris Kobach — to the relief of Republicans concerned that Kobach could put not just the state but the party’s Senate majority at risk this fall.

Marshall had 37 percent of the vote compared to 26 percent for Kobach when The Associated Press called the race. The result was a more decisive victory for Marshall than expected by many Republicans, who had predicted with deep concern that the race was a tossup going into Tuesday.

Marshall’s victory leaves Republicans confident in their ability to retain the seat this fall. AKobach win would have forced Senate Republicans to face a difficult choice between supporting a candidate whom they have publicly bashed as unelectable, or leaving the state to chance with their already tenuous majority in peril.

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