Topeka Kris Kobach officially filed Tuesday to seek the Republican Party nomination for secretary of state, saying he wanted to transform the office into more of a law enforcement operation prosecuting allegations of voter fraud.
“Now is the time to restore integrity of Kansas elections,” Kobach said. He said election fraud is an issue in Kansas.
Kobach has made national headlines as having helped write Arizona’s new immigration law, and defended anti-illegal immigration efforts across the United States.
If elected secretary of state, Kobach said he would push for two new state laws -- one would require a photo ID to vote, and another would require proof of citizenship to register to vote. Without proof of citizenship, he said, “It’s very easy to register aliens to vote.”
He also said he would want greater statutory authority to prosecute allegations of election fraud.
Kobach, who is an attorney from Piper and former state GOP chairman, said if elected he would continue to handle appeals of immigration laws that he has been involved with outside of Kansas. But, he said, he would do that after putting in 40 to 50 hours per week as secretary of state.
He will face Shawnee County elections commissioner Elizabeth Ensley and J.R. Claeys of Salina in the Aug. 3 primary. Incumbent Chris Biggs will face Kansas City state Sen. Chris Steineger in the Democratic primary.