Pro-Abortion Group EMILY's List Helped Fund Attack Ads to Boost Kris Kobach in Kansas GOP Senate Primary

Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach talks about the Kansas voter ID law in Topeka, Kansas, May 12, 2016. (Dave Kaup/Reuters)

The pro-abortion group EMILY’s List and a PAC run by allies of Senator Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) funded a Democrat-linked PAC that attempted to boost Kris Kobach in the Kansas GOP Senate primary, according to documents filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Kobach, the former attorney general for the state of Kansas, lost the primary on August 4 to Representative Roger Marshall. The Republican Party threw its weight behind Marshall after concluding he had the best chance of defeating Democratic challenger Barbara Bollier.

In an attempt to elevate Kobach, the Democrat-backed Sunflower State PAC ran advertisements praising Kobach as a “pro-Trump conservative leader” while labeling Marshall a “swamp creature.” The Sunflower State PAC received $3.55 million from the Schumer-allied Senate Majority PAC and $1.75 million from Women Vote!, the PAC arm of EMILY’s List.

Democrats said that even though efforts to elect Kobach failed, the attacks on Marshall could pay off in the general election if they weaken his support.

“It was a buffet of riches. You have extraordinarily weak candidates running against each other,” J.B. Poersch, president of the Senate Majority PAC, told Politico. “You had to open the possibility that any of the candidates, either Marshall or Kobach, could come out of that, and you wanted a weakened scenario.”

Neither Republican candidate received a direct endorsement from President Trump in the primary, although numerous Republicans and allied groups weighed in on Marshall’s behalf. Marshall received endorsements from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Kansas Farm Bureau, as well as two pro-life groups, National Right to Life Committee and Kansans for Life.

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Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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