GOP Holds Kansas House Seat As Democrat's Surprise Upset Bid Falls Short

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - A Democratic civil rights attorney running in the nation's first congressional election since President Donald Trump's November victory has made the race surprisingly competitive for a Kansas House seat held by a Republican for more than two decades. "A win is a win but this should have been relatively simple and it wasn't".

The chairman of the national Republican congressional committee said the result heralded victories to come.

Backlash against Donald Trump is alive and well-even in Republican strongholds.

A defeat for Estes, however, would have meant that the people who lived in the district - and perhaps in other parts of the Midwest, too - were unhappy with the president and with Republicans in the state. Many are looking to flip the 2nd District seat held by Rep. Lynn Jenkins or the 3rd District seat held by Rep. Kevin Yoder in 2018, the Eagle reports. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who won the Kansas caucus in the Republican presidential primary, campaigned for Estes over the weekend.

But that was hardly the case.

It's a hard district for a Democrat to win and Thompson, an attorney, was a first-time candidate. Wichita is home to Koch Industries, the company led by conservative billionaire political donors Charles and David Koch.

Trump's low approval ratings, as well as the sky-high unpopularity of Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican, appear to have had an impact on voters' enthusiasm for Estes in this traditionally Republican state. When the night was over, Estes had it in the bag 53-46.

The last time I recall the press being so excited about losing a special-election congressional race in a perceived safe GOP district, Republican Jean Schmidt defeated Paul Hackett in Ohio's Second District by 3.3 points in 2005. It also may dampen Democrats' hopes of performing well in the three House seats vacated by Republicans - most significantly in Georgia, where Democrat Jon Ossoff is leading in the April 18 contest to replace Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price against a crowded field of GOP candidates. It was the first special congressional election since Trump's election as president previous year. It was the first special congressional election since Trump's election as president previous year. Both parties treated it as such and that's how the voters perceived it. The victor will face the Republican nominee in the June 20 general election. "The Democratic base is fully mobilized and unlikely to be defused", said one Republican House member who wanted to speak under anonymity. "That's why he's raising expectations on himself". It's important to note that local politics mattered in this race. If we can see a 20-point swing in a Southern district that has been a Republican stronghold for 22 years, we can elect progressive champions everywhere. After weeks of ignoring the surging Democratic enthusiasm in the district, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Monday gave Thompson a last-minute boost, making live calls to voters on his behalf. "That doesn't predict or guarantee victory for Democrats in 2018 but it's a road map".