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Liberal blog’s readers jump into Kansas race

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The Latest on the special election for a Kansas House seat (all times local):

11:45 a.m.

Readers of a liberal blog have donated more than $200,000 in less than a week to the Democratic candidate in a special congressional election in Kansas.

The Daily Kos is encouraging readers to contribute to and make phone calls for Democrat and Wichita civil rights attorney James Thompson. He is giving Republican state Treasurer Ron Estes a tougher-than-expected race in the 4th District of south-central Kansas.

Democratic National Committee member and Daily Kos member Chris Reeves said Tuesday that the blog set up its donation site last week. A tally Tuesday morning showed more than 12,600 donors to Thompson.

It is the first special congressional election since President Donald Trump’s election.

Thompson, Estes and Libertarian Chris Rockhold are running to replace the former congressman, CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

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10:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump is having an impact on voters in Kansas’ special Congressional election.

Thomas Hauser, a 67-year-old Belle Plaine resident and traditionally a Republican says he voted for Democrat James Thompson on Tuesday, in part because they share a military background. But he also said he didn’t vote for Trump in the presidential election because he doesn’t “believe in the party line.”

David Carron, a 50-year-old Republican from Belle Plaine, showed up to vote in his Army uniform. He said he and his wife, Crystal, voted for Republican Ron Estes “just to support Trump.” He says he wants to see if the GOP “can get something done” with Republican majorities in the U.S. House and Senate.

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9:10 a.m.

President Donald Trump says a “wonderful guy” is running for Congress whose help he needs to overhaul the health care and tax systems.

Trump tweeted Tuesday about Republican Ron Estes, who is vying to fill the seat that opened when Mike Pompeo resigned to head the CIA. But Democratic civil rights attorney James Thompson has made Tuesday’s special election for a Kansas House seat long held by Republicans surprisingly competitive.

Trump says “Ron Estes is running TODAY for Congress in the Great State of Kansas. A wonderful guy, I need his help on Healthcare & Tax Cuts (Reform).”

The tweet follows get-out-the-vote calls that Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have recorded for Estes.

Trump tells callers in the recording that Estes “needs your vote and needs it badly.”

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12:25 a.m.

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 Republicans for more than two decades.

The special election Tuesday between Democrat James Thompson and Republican Ron Estes to fill the seat vacated by CIA Director Mike Pompeo is being watched across the nation for signs of a backlash against Republicans.

Trump won 60 percent of the votes cast in the congressional district that includes the state’s largest city of Wichita.

But in a sign of nervousness, Republicans poured money into the race late to bolster Estes. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence recorded get-out-the-vote calls on his behalf and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas campaigned for him.


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