Democratic leaders criticize Kobach for backing GOP state senate hopeful

? Democratic leaders in the Kansas Legislature are criticizing Secretary of State Kris Kobach for serving as the honorary campaign chairman for a fellow Republican who’s running for a state Senate seat.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, of Topeka, and House Minority Leader Paul Davis, of Lawrence, said Friday that Kobach is violating the ethics code of the National Association of Secretaries of State.

They also said Kobach’s actions raise questions about whether he can run Kansas elections fairly.

Kobach is the honorary chairman for Senate candidate Mark Gilstrap in Kansas City.

Kobach said it’s common for secretaries of state in Kansas and other states to endorse candidates, noting that the national group’s code doesn’t specifically forbid it. He said Hensley and Davis are “trigger happy” in criticizing him.