Estes wins easily in Pawnee, Stafford counties

House race in heavily GOP Kansas surprisingly competitive

"I'm absolutely unsure how it's going to go", Jeff Glendening, the state director of Americans for Prosperity, a conservative advocacy group that has ties to Wichita-based Koch Industries, told the Kansas City Star.

Democrats hope to crack a special election on May 25 happening in Montana's at-large district.

Democrat James Thompson, left, lost to Republican Ron Estes.

The election came down to the wire on Tuesday night as Estes defeated Thompson 53.3 to 45.0 percent with nearly all ballots counted. Thompson easily won voters who cast their ballots early and was poised to carry Wichita's Sedgwick County, which Trump won by 18 points.

"I think more than anything else, what happened in November of past year, it turned a switch on", Lewis said. If Ossoff can clinch 50 percent of the vote against a crowded field of Republican contenders, he will avoid a runoff election. Estes had 37,058 for 48 percent.

It and another close congressional race in Republican territory in the state of Georgia next week, could portend tough election battles for the president's party in 2018. Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign, said late Tuesday that he will run for the seat again in 2018.

Allen lives in the district's rural area and works in agriculture. She was especially upset when the Republican governor recently vetoed Medicaid expansion.

"For sure, I will have rural support", she said she thought. But Republicans in Kansas or nationwide who dismiss this as just another close call might do so at their peril. "They're voting against themselves".

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Last year, the Pompeo re-election race drew limited attention. Former Congressman Mike Pompeo, who vacated the seat in 2017 to run the Central Intelligence Agency under the Trump administration, won the congressional seat in 2016 with 61% of the vote.

Less than three months after taking control of Washington, the Republican Party has already been put on the political defensive - thanks primarily to House races in Kansas, Georgia and Montana that have proved unexpectedly hard. Without the boogeyman of the Obama administration, and without the threat of Hillary Clinton picking a judge to fill an open Supreme Court seat, Republicans resorted to arguing that Thompson would use constituents' tax money to fund abortions. But it was an unlikely spot to make a stand, and Thompson was an unlikely candidate to do it. If he had been a state senator, he would have started with 70,000 people and better name recognition, Loomis said.

But Estes ended up winning 16 of the district's 17 counties.

Most notably the drop could be tied to the failure that "occurred last month when House Speaker Paul Ryan could not unite the different factions within Republican ranks to pass a bill replacing the landmark Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare". Ted Cruz of Texas to campaign in Kansas for Estes.

With 94% of the precincts counted, Estes led Thompson by 52% to 46%.

Estes is the state treasurer.

Attorney Gen. Schmidt, completing his second term in that job, was asked during his South Hutchinson stop if he was interested in running for governor next year.

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