Government & Politics

July 24, 2014

Kansas Livestock Association backs Kobach challenger in primary

The 5,600-member organization chooses former Lawrence school board member Scott Morgan over Kris Kobach. The group says the Republican incumbent involves himself in too many things beyond the secretary of state’s traditional duties.

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s push to get tough on illegal immigration has apparently cost him the support of ranchers.

The Kansas Livestock Association has come out in support of Kobach’s Republican challenger Scott Morgan in the Aug. 5 primary.

The group says Kobach strays beyond the traditional roles of secretary of state by taking up issues such as immigration and blocking federal environmental protections of the lesser prairie chicken.

“We really want someone who’s going to do the job of secretary of state and leave those sorts of things to the folks who control those areas,” livestock association lobbyist Aaron Popelka said.

The group butted heads with Kobach over his efforts to crack down on illegal immigration in Kansas and a law aimed at stopping the federal government from protecting the prairie chicken.

Popelka said the association believed immigration should be dealt with by Congress, not the states.

He also said Kobach wanted the prairie chicken bill worded in a way that could have hampered ranchers’ ability to get their required federal environmental permits.

Kobach wanted to make it a felony for federal employees who attempted to enforce any law dealing with the lesser prairie chicken.

Kobach wasn’t surprised by the association’s support for Morgan. “The KLA openly defends the hiring of illegal aliens, and the KLA has long opposed my efforts to enforce immigration laws,” he said.

To reach Brad Cooper call 816-234-7724 or send email to bcooper@kcstar.com

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