KS-04

Republican Wins Tough First Special Election of Trump Presidency
Ron Estes wins seat vacated by CIA Director Mike Pompeo

Republican Ron Estes underperformed President Donald Trump in Kansas’ 4th District on Tuesday night. (Courtesy Kansas for Estes Facebook page)

In the first congressional election of Donald Trump’s presidency, Republicans have held on to a deeply red Kansas district after a closer than expected race for the GOP. 

Ron Estes, the state treasurer, defeated Democratic lawyer James Thompson 53 to 46 percent in Kansas’ 4th District, with 100 percent of precincts reporting, The Associated Press reported.

Trump Steps Into Closer-Than-Expected Kansas Special Election
National Republicans have made late investments in heavily GOP district

Kansas Treasurer Ron Estes is the Republican nominee in Tuesday’s 4th District special election. (Courtesy Kansas for Estes Facebook page)

It’s not often that a sitting Republican president, vice president, a former presidential candidate and senator and the speaker of the House make an effort days before a special election to hold what’s supposed to be a safe GOP seat. 

“Today, the eyes of the whole country are on Kansas,” Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said at a Monday rally for state Treasurer Ron Estes, the GOP nominee in the 4th District.

The Not-So-Special Elections
Of 5 upcoming contests, only Georgia race presents chance of a partisan flip

Karen Handel is hoping to succeed Tom Price in Georgia’s 6th District, but first, she faces an April 18 jungle primary with 17 other candidates. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Money is pouring into the suburbs north of Atlanta, the site of the first competitive congressional election of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Georgia’s 6th District, left vacant by the confirmation of Tom Price as Health and Human Services Secretary, is one of five special elections taking place across the country this spring, but the only one which offers much of a chance of a partisan flip.

Kansas GOPers Pick Establishment Candidate for Pompeo Seat
State Treasurer Ron Estes chosen over a Trump campaign staffer

Kansas Treasurer Ron Estes is likely the next congressman from the 4th District. (Courtesy Kansas for Estes Facebook page)

Ahead of the first special election of Donald Trump’s presidency, a small group of Kansas Republicans has effectively handpicked an establishment-backed candidate as the next congressman from the Wichita-based 4th District.

At a special nominating convention Thursday night, 126 district committeeman elected state Treasurer Ron Estes to be the GOP nominee for the open seat, which was vacated by Mike Pompeo after his confirmation as CIA director. Estes received 66 votes on the final ballot.

Three Trump Campaign Aides Who Could Get Elected to Congress
Candidates trying to leverage presidential connection to upset victories

Mike Pompeo’s departure from Congress for a new job as CIA director gives Alan Cobb, a Trump campaign official, a shot at the 4th District seat in Kansas. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

During the campaign, there probably weren’t enough full-throated Donald Trump supporters on Capitol Hill to fill a minivan. But two Trump campaign aides could get elected in House special elections later this year, while another adviser may challenge a Republican senator in a primary next year.

Their candidacies will test the popularity and allure of Trump at the local level (since each of them would start their races as underdogs against establishment candidates) and indicate how interested the new president is in interjecting himself into local fights.