U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan put out a fundraising plea to Republican donors on behalf of Ron Estes ahead of Tuesday’s special election in Kansas.
Estes, the two-term Republican state treasurer, is facing Democrat James Thompson and Libertarian Chris Rockhold in the race to replace Mike Pompeo, who gave up his 4th District congressional seat in January to serve as President Donald Trump’s CIA director.
“I am personally reaching out to you today to help strengthen our House majority by electing Ron Estes in Kansas’ Fourth Congressional District,” Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, says in the email to Republican donors, which was sent out last week.
Ryan praises Estes’ “unique background in engineering and business” and warns that Thompson’s campaign “will be well-funded by liberal special-interest groups in Washington and their vast resources.”
Estes actually has held a fundraising advantage over Thompson, a civil rights attorney, outraising him by roughly $30,000, according to Federal Election Commission filings.
Ryan’s fundraising email, which was sent out last week, preceded the decision by the National Republican Congressional Committee to spend about $92,000 for online and television advertising in the final days of the campaign and the announcement that U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas will also campaign on Estes’ behalf Monday in Wichita.
The late push by national Republicans has been interpreted by analysts as a sign that the race is more competitive than initially contemplated. A Democrat has not won the 4th District, which covers Wichita and the surrounding area, in more than two decades.
“As a friend of Ron’s and as House Speaker, I can tell you that this is one of the most important House races in the country. Please consider this a personal request,” Ryan states in the email before asking recipients to forward it onto five of their friends.