Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) says he will recuse himself from vote counting in the state’s unsettled Republican gubernatorial primary, where Kobach is challenging incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer (R).
Kobach told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Thursday night that he would formally recuse himself on Friday as outstanding votes remain to be counted, but noted it was a largely “symbolic” move as the vote counting is undertaken at the county level.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach: “I’ll be happy to recuse myself” from the recount in the GOP primary race for the Kansas governor’s office, a contest in which he maintains a razor thin lead https://t.co/yegB1ZJSjE pic.twitter.com/rwP9QxP8Nj
— Cuomo Prime Time (@CuomoPrimeTime) August 10, 2018
Kobach made the announcement after Colyer accused him in a letter on Thursday afternoon of issuing guidance to state election officials “inconsistent with Kansas law” and demanded his recusal from the process.
The secretary of State’s lead dropped from 191 to 91 votes earlier Thursday due to a discrepancy that officials noticed in Colyer’s totals in Thomas County.
Results of the race remain unofficial, and it is still too close to call. More than 311,000 votes have been tallied but over 10,000 absentee and provisional ballots remain to be counted, CNN noted.
Kobach, who has enjoyed President Trump‘s backing in the heated GOP primary race, previously headed the White House’s now-defunct voter fraud commission that was created to investigate Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2016 election.