Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach announced an endorsement Thursday from the state’s leading anti-abortion group before it had finalized the endorsement.
“I have exciting news! Kansans for Life endorsed Kris Kobach and Wink Hartman for Governor and Lt. Governor in the Republican primary,” Kobach said in a campaign email Thursday. “Wink and I are 100% pro-life, and we are committed to the values of life, faith and family.”
His email notes in small letters at the bottom that this is a dual endorsement with Gov. Jeff Colyer, his top competition for the Republican nomination for governor.
The announcement caught Mary Kay Culp, the executive director of Kansans for Life, by surprise, because while the organization is planning on endorsing Kobach — and discussed it on a conference call this week — it had not officially announced its endorsement.
“We haven’t announced anything yet,” Culp said when told of Kobach’s email. “Nothing is official yet. … I am puzzled.”
Kobach’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment about why he announced the endorsement ahead of Kansans for Life.
Thursday afternoon, Kansans For Life issued a statement endorsing both Kobach and Colyer and noting that a third Republican candidate, Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer, "is also pro-life."
Colyer, who succeeded Sam Brownback as governor in January, has consistently supported KFL-backed legislation in Topeka.
“We’re very honored to have a Kansans For Life endorsement," Colyer said at an event in Lenexa. "I have always been pro-life. I was never pro-choice and we’ve been out there and talking about pro-life issues and actually moving the needle, getting things done.”