Kobach says he’s talked to Trump, amid speculation about job with administration

photo by: Associated Press

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach answers questions from reporters after he and other state officials certify results from the state's recent general election, Friday, Nov. 30, 2018, in Topeka, Kan. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

TOPEKA — Kris Kobach said Friday that he’s not seeking “random federal jobs” after losing the Kansas governor’s race and suggested it could take him at least another month to decide what his future holds after he steps down as the state’s top elections official.

Kobach told reporters that he has talked to President Donald Trump by phone since his election loss to Democratic Gov.-elect Laura Kelly, a veteran state senator from Topeka. But Kobach wouldn’t discuss the details.

The Kansas secretary of state is a conservative Republican who built a national profile as an advocate of tough immigration and voter identification policies. He advised Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign and afterward and served as vice chairman of a short-lived presidential commission on election fraud.

“I’m not out there looking for random federal jobs,” Kobach told reporters after he and other state officials formally certified the results from the Nov. 6 election during a short public meeting. “But, of course, if the president were to call and ask me to serve, that’s a different matter.”

Some Republicans in Kansas have said they see Kobach as a likely candidate for a job in Trump’s administration because of their political ties. Trump’s endorsement of Kobach just a day before the Republican primary in August helped Kobach narrowly defeat Gov. Jeff Colyer.

Kobach’s four-year term as secretary of state ends in January, when Kelly and other newly elected officials are sworn into office. He was elected secretary of state in 2010 and re-elected four years later.

“My wife I, we’re taking it easy right now,” Kobach said. “We’re praying about it. We’re enjoying the holiday season, and, you know, we’ll see what turns up.”


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