A former Kansas Republican Party chairman has announced his candidacy for secretary of state in 2010.
Kris Kobach, 43, a law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, is a former White House fellow and advised former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft on immigration issues.
He is pointing to his experience in the Department of Justice as he calls voter fraud “a very real problem in Kansas.”
“We must enact a statute requiring photo identification to vote,” Kobach said in a campaign statement. “But that is only the first step. Our voter rolls must be purged of thousands of deceased individuals, illegally registered aliens and felons. And regulations must be promulgated to ensure honest elections and recounts.”
Kobach, a Piper resident, served a two-year term as GOP chairman until February. He is announcing his candidacy at events across the state this week.
Current Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh is in his fourth term, and he is seeking the GOP’s nomination for governor in 2010. If Thornburgh stays in the governor’s race, Kobach’s main competition for the nomination appears to be J.R. Claeys, a Salina businessman who is also a certified international elections observer.
According to campaign finance reports filed in January, Claeys, a Republican, had $213,000 cash on hand in his campaign fund, and Kobach had $60,000.
State Sen. David Haley, of Kansas City, Kan., has filed paperwork to raise money for the Democratic nomination for secretary of state.