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Supreme Court, legislative races focus in Kansas election

Associated Press - November 6, 2016 5:16 am

A top Democratic lawmaker says he is joining the crowded race to replace Republican Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback. House Minority Leader Jim Ward of Wichita announced his candidacy Saturday. He had named former Democratic Party chairman Lee Kinch as his campaign treasurer earlier this week.

A backlash against Republican Gov. Sam Brownback over the state’s budget problems could oust more of his allies from the Kansas Legislature in Tuesday’s election.

It also could save state Supreme Court justices.

GOP nominee Donald Trump is expected to carry Kansas in the presidential race, and Republican U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran is all but certain to cruise to a second, six-year term.

The only congressional race looking competitive is in the 3rd District in the Kansas City area, where a national Democratic committee targeted GOP incumbent Kevin Yoder.

Legislative races are hotter as Democrats seek to cut into Republican majorities and loosen the grip of Brownback’s allies on both chambers.

Meanwhile, conservatives, abortion opponents and other critics are seeking to oust four of the Kansas Supreme Court’s justices.