Kobach caves, says he’ll recuse himself from conducting recount of his own election

TOPEKA, KS - AUGUST 07: Republican primary candidate for Governor Kris Kobach, speaks to supporters just after midnight in a tight race with Jeff Colyer that is too close to call. Kobach was supported by President Trump against incumbent Jeff Colyer on August 7, 2018 in Topeka, Kansas. (Photo by Steve Pope/Getty Images)
Kris Kobach

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has said he will recuse himself from directing the recount of a gubernatorial primary he’s a candidate in—and all it took was national attention and a direct call from his rival, Gov. Jeff Colyer. “I’ll be happy to recuse myself,” Kobach told CNN, a day after refusing to recuse himself and shortly after Colyer pointed out that Kobach’s office was giving local election officials incorrect information.

“It has come to my attention that your office is giving advice to county election officials — as recently as a conference call yesterday — and you are making public statements on national television which are inconsistent with Kansas law and may serve to suppress the vote in the ongoing Kansas primary election process,” Mr. Colyer wrote. […]

Earlier Thursday, discrepancies emerged between the vote totals reported by Mr. Kobach’s office and the numbers posted on at least three county election websites. And Mr. Colyer was upset by Mr. Kobach’s statement on Fox News a day earlier that mail-in ballots had already been counted. (Though many mailed ballots were reported with the Election Day results, Kansas law allows ballots postmarked by Tuesday to count as long as they are received by Friday.)

Counting is still going on in the race, with those mail-in ballots still coming and provisional votes being counted next week. But only around a hundred votes separate the two candidates, making a recount a very real possibility.

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