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Kansas Secretary of State election, 2010

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Candidates for Secretary of State, 2010


Polls, 2010 Secretary of State elections

2010 Election information
Primary election dates
Statewide elections, 2010
November 2nd General Election results

National Association of Secretaries of State


Secretary of State Project

State Executive Official news headlines
The Kansas Secretary of State election of 2010 was held on November 2, 2010. The incumbent, former Kansas Securities Commissioner Chris Biggs (Democrat), was appointed to office by Democratic Governor Mark Parkinson on March 17, 2010 - less than five months before the primary elections. Biggs' appointment was prompted by the resignation of Republican Ron Thornburgh, who had served in the office for nearly sixteen years.[1][2]

On August 3, Biggs faced Chris Steineger in the primary election and won the Democratic party nomination with 60.2% of the vote. At the same time, three Republican candidates vied for their party's seat on the ballot. Kris Kobach won 50.6% of the vote, dashing the election hopes of Shawnee County Election Commissioner Elizabeth Ensley and J.R. Claeys, former President and CEO of the National Association of Government Contractors.

In the general election in November, Kobach and Biggs were met by Libertarian Phillip Horatio Lucas and Reform Party candidate Derek Langseth. With 59% of the vote, Kobach unseated Biggs, who received 37.2% of the vote, while Lucas and Langseth claimed 2.0% and 1.6%, respectively.

Race tracker

Ballotpedia declared Kansas' Secretary of State race to be a toss up.

2010 Ballotpedia Race Rankings for Kansas Secretary of State
Race Tracker Race Rating
Ballotpedia Toss-up
Overall Call Toss-up

General Election campaign

Results

Kansas Secretary of State, General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngKris Kobach 59% 489,640
     Democratic Chris Biggs 37.2% 308,641
     Libertarian Phillip Horatio Lucas 2.1% 17,336
     Reform Party Derek Langseth 1.7% 13,896
Total Votes 829,513
Election Results Via: Kansas Secretary of State

Candidate forum


Part 4. Biggs-Kobach Forum. Initiatives; Caucus; Internet

Biggs faced his opponent, Kris Kobach, in a candidate forum on October 12, 2010. The moderator picked many questions from the audience, such as:

  • Voter fraud?
  • Upgrade of how Kansans vote?
  • Increasing voter turnout? Weekend ballots?
  • Outside legal work?
  • Initiatives and referendums like Missouri?
  • Replace caucus with presidential primary?
  • Voting on the Internet?
  • Management experience?
  • How to streamline office?

Kansas Watchdog captured video from the forum, including this video about their initiatives, caucus and the Internet.[3]

Endorsements

Chris Biggs

Kris Kobach

Finances

According to the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission, as of October 27, 2010, here is the breakdown of campaign finances for each of the candidates:

Chris Biggs Campaign Finance Reports
Report Date Filed Beginning Balance Contributions In-Kind [13] Other Sources Expenditures Cash on Hand
July 23 - October 21, 2010[14] October 25, 2010 $34,173.32 $218,142.00 $412.50 $31,000.00 $241,199.48 $10,714.16
Kris Kobach Campaign Finance Reports
Report Date Filed Beginning Balance Contributions In-Kind [13] Other Sources Expenditures Cash on Hand
July 23 - October 22, 2010[15] October 25, 2010 $89,342.63 $136,810.39 $550.00 $0.00 $95,490.49 $130,662.53

Polling

Survey USA 1st poll

Survey USA, a public opinion polls and private market research firm, under contract with a local news station in Kansas surveyed 882 registered voters about all the statewide races on the ballot in November; of these, 588 were deemed to be likely voters. The polling data shows Republicans maintaining double-digit leads in all contests, including for secretary of state. It should be noted, however, that Survey USA does not use live call center employees, but rather an automated system in which taped questions are asked via a professional announcer; the respondent is then invited to press a button on their phone or record a message indicating their selections.

Survey USA Poll - August 12 – 15, 2010[16]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Kris Kobach (R) 62%
Chris Biggs (D) 30%
Phillip Horatio Lucas (Libertarian) 2%
Derek Langseth (Reform) 2%
Undecided 4%
Total voters 588

Survey USA 2nd poll

Survey USA, a public opinion polls and private market research firm, under contract with a local news station in Kansas surveyed 602 likely voters about all the statewide races on the ballot this November. The polling data shows Republicans firmly holding leads in all contests, including for Secretary of State. And while Kobach's numbers were down from the last poll, he remains well ahead of Democratic incumbent Chris Biggs by double-digits. It should be noted, however, that Survey USA does not use live call center employees, but rather an automated system in which taped questions are asked via a professional announcer; the respondent is then invited to press a button on their phone or record a message indicating their selections.

Survey USA Poll - September 12 – 15, 2010[17]
Candidates Percentage
Green check mark.jpg Kris Kobach (R) 53%
Chris Biggs (D) 36%
Phillip Horatio Lucas (Libertarian) 3%
Derek Langseth (Reform) 3%
Undecided 4%
Total voters 602

August 3, 2010 primaries

See also: Kansas gubernatorial election, 2010; Kansas Attorney General election, 2010

Donkey symbol.png Democratic primary

Candidates

Electoral results

2010 Race for Secretary of State - Democratic Primary[20]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Democratic Party Approveda Chris Biggs 60.3%
     Democratic Party Chris Steineger 39.7%
Total Votes 80,872

Endorsements

Chris Biggs

Finances

According to the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission, as of July 28, 2010, here is the breakdown of campaign finances for each of the candidates:

Chris Biggs Campaign Finance Reports
Report Date Filed Beginning Balance Contributions In-Kind [13] Other Sources Expenditures Cash on Hand
January 1 - July 22, 2010[24] July 29, 2010 $922.01 $76,636.00 $1,899.23 $6,000.00 $43,384.69 $34,173.32
January 1 - December 31, 2009[25] January 10, 2010 $0.00 $1,454.00 $155.88 $1,000.00 $531.99 $922.01
Chris Steineger Campaign Finance Reports
Report Date Filed Beginning Balance Contributions In-Kind [13] Other Sources Expenditures Cash on Hand
January 1 - July 22, 2010[26] July 26, 2010 $0.00 $107,835.00 $2,763.90 $50,000.00 $81,575.15 $26,259.85

Gop logo2.jpg Republican primary

Candidates

Electoral results

2010 Race for Secretary of State - Republican Primary[20]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Republican Party Approveda Kris Kobach 50.7%
     Republican Party Elizabeth Ensley 27.0%
     Republican Party J.R. Claeys 22.3%
Total Votes 308,776

Endorsements

Elizabeth Ensley

Kris Kobach

  • Gun Owners of America[33]
  • Kansans for Government Reform PAC[34][35]
  • Kansans for Life Political Action Committee[36][37]
  • Michelle Malkin, conservative author and activist[38]
  • Fred Thompson, actor and former United States Senator[39]

Finances

According to the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission, as of July 28, 2010, here is the breakdown of campaign finances for each of the candidates:

J.R. Claeys Campaign Finance Reports
Report Date Filed Beginning Balance Contributions In-Kind [13] Other Sources Expenditures Cash on Hand
January 1 - July 22, 2010[40] July 26, 2010 $287,644.28 $300.00 $0.00 $30,000.00 $282,003.30 $5,940.98
January 1 - December 31, 2009[41] July 22, 2010 $213,642.19 $110,166.70 $50.00 $30,000.00 $36,164.61 $287,644.28
Elizabeth Ensley Campaign Finance Reports
Report Date Filed Beginning Balance Contributions In-Kind [13] Other Sources Expenditures Cash on Hand
January 1 - July 22, 2010[42] July 26, 2010 $0.00 $74,360.69 $2,462.79 $0.00 $61,263.52 $13,097.17
Kris Kobach Campaign Finance Reports
Report Date Filed Beginning Balance Contributions In-Kind [13] Other Sources Expenditures Cash on Hand
January 1 - July 22, 2010[43] July 25, 2010 $127,854.80 $10,192.50 $902.66 $0.00 $99,933.26 $38,114.04
January 1 - December 31, 2009[44] January 13, 2010 $60,000.00 $92,607.00 $3,024.57 $0.00 $24,752.20 $127,854.80

Controversies

Arizona SB1070

Several days after Republican Governor of Arizona Jan Brewer signed into law Senate Bill 1070 - The Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, more commonly known as Arizona SB 1070, the Lawrence Journal-World & News broke the news that law professor and Kansas Secretary of State candidate Kris Kobach had a hand in helping craft the legislation.[45][46] The Act, which does not take effect until July 28, 2010, makes it a state misdemeanor crime for an alien to be in Arizona without carrying proper citizenship papers required by federal law, authorizes state and local law enforcement of federal immigration laws, and cracks down on those sheltering, hiring and transporting illegal aliens into the United States. Kobach stated that he provided his assistance to Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce for free and did not believe it would impact his campaign for secretary of state, though he was quick to argue that he would be willing to draw up a similar measure in Kansas, but only if asked to do so by a state legislator.

Civil rights groups who have protested the immigration law have petitioned the University of Missouri at Kansas City (UMKC) to impose sanctions on Kobach, who has taught there since 1996. His harshest critics is J.D. Rios, an assistant Kansas City, Kansas school superintendent, who has argued that Kobach "violated the general UMKC policy to promote diversity."[47] Despite threats from liberal alumni members saying they would no longer encourage Hispanic students to enroll at the university, UMKC has staunchly stood in support of Kobach, insisting they believe in academic freedom for all of its faculty members.[48]

"Illegal is Illegal" Rally

On July 14, 2010, Kobach supporters gathered for an “Illegal is Illegal” Rally at the Ritz Charles convention center after permission to hold the controversial event at MidAmerica Nazarene University was withdrawn. Sheriff Joe Arpaio from Maricopa County Arizona appeared in support of Kobach at the standing room only rally.

Several hundred held a mostly silent “Love Conquers Hate” protest along the sidewalk on the perimeter of the convention center. More than 50 from the NAACP Convention in Kansas City joined the protest, racial profiling top among their concerns, as they chanted “hope, not hate” as they arrived in a small parade. Video of the rally can be seen here.[49]

Birther joke

Speaking at a Leavenworth County Republican Party BBQ held in Tonganoxie shortly after the 4th of July in 2009, Kobach made a joke at the expense of President Barack Obama, stating the one thing the former Illinois senator and God had in common was that neither of them had a birth certificate.[50] The State Democratic Party sharply criticized the Republican candidate for Secretary of State for his remarks, arguing that "his latest attempt at humor has gone too far."[51] Kobach replied that it was just a joke and that Democratic critics should lighten up.

Campaign treasurer

At the same time he faced accusations that he acted in open violation of state campaign finance laws, Forward Kansas, a liberal-leaning news website, ran a story questioning whether or not Mike Sager, Campaign Finance Director for the Steineger secretary of state campaign, was the same individual who was "indicted for a felony count of stealing from his campaign funds and, also, a misdemeanor count of filing false campaign finance reports in order to subsequently cover up the theft."[52][53]

Steineger admitted to the Kansas City Star that when he originally hired Sager, he was not aware of his past. Since discovering that, however, he had since dumped him as his campaign treasurer.[54] Mysteriously, two days after this story was published, he refused to take questions on the matter with another online news source and sent a campaign spokeswoman to "dodge questions."[55]

Election errors

In the run up to the 2008 state primary election contest, Ensley's office allotted forty-three Federal service ballots in an incorrect column, thus preventing optical scanning voting machines from uploading their results properly. This oversight, which Ensley attributed to simple human error, resulted in four-thousand ballots not being counted.[56]

Three months later, during the general election, an election board worker from Ensley's office inadvertently misplaced fourteen provisional ballots in the trunk of her car.[57] Ensley admitted to the mistake and said that it should never have happened.[58]

Ethics complaints

Not long after launching his campaign for secretary of state, the Kansas State Ethics Commission accused State Senator Chris Steineger of at least twice knowingly violating the state's campaign finance laws.[59] Along with being implicated for using financial contributions from his state senate campaign to pay for poll conducted on behalf of his secretary of state committee, he faced being charged with infringing on a state law that "prohibits [state] politicians from seeking contributions from lobbyists, corporations, unions and political action committees while the Legislature is convened from January to May."[60] Several days after these allegations were first reported, Steineger admitted that "a preliminary review of emails sent on behalf of his campaign for secretary of state indicated requests for donations went to several registered lobbyists" and that he would take full responsibility for the actions of campaign.[61]

On Tuesday, May 18, 2010, the Kansas State Ethics Commission ruled that Steineger "improperly used his Senate campaign fund to pay for polls testing his name recognition ahead of a possible run for statewide office."[62] At the same time, however, the commission was unable to find sufficient evidence to say he knowingly violated state campaign finance laws by requesting contributions from lobbyists while the State Legislature was still in session. Steineger was then ordered to pay a fine of $5,000.[63]

See also

External links

Kansas

General Election candidates

Former candidates

References

  1. Kansas City Star, "Kansas secretary of state resigns" 8 Feb. 2010
  2. The Wichita Eagle, "Parkinson names Biggs as secretary of state" 17 March, 2010
  3. "Biggs-Kobach Candidate Forum," Kansas Watchdog, October 13, 2010
  4. Communication Workers of America - Endorsements
  5. AFL-CIO - 2010 Endorsements
  6. The Wichita Eagle, "Endorsements: U.S. Senate, U.S. House, governor, secretary of state, attorney general, state treasurer" 24 Oct. 2010
  7. Can-Do Conservatives of America - Endorsements
  8. KHGI-TV "Ex-GOP rival backs Kobach for Kan. sec of state" 4 Aug. 2010
  9. 9.0 9.1 Red State, "Primary opponents Claeys and Ensley endorse nominee Kris Kobach for Kansas Secretary of State" 17 Aug. 2010
  10. Red County, "JR Claeys and Elizabeth Ensley endorse Kris Kobach for Kansas Secretary of State" 17 Aug. 2010
  11. WIBW "Romney Endorses Kobach In KS SOS Race" 17 Sept. 2010
  12. Prairie Politics, "Romney makes Kansas endorsements" 22 Sept. 2010
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 As these are not cash contributions, they are not reflected in the reported ending balance.
  14. Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission - Chris Biggs 2010 Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  15. Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission - Kris Kobach 2010 Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  16. KWCH - Channel 12 "Republicans hold solid lead in all statewide races" 17 Aug. 2010
  17. Survey USA "Results of SurveyUSA Election Poll #17081" 17 Sept. 2010
  18. Kansas Jackass, "KS-SoS: Chris Biggs to run for Secretary of State" 4 June, 2009
  19. El Dorado Times, "Chris Steineger Announces Candidacy for Kansas Secretary of State" 22 Jan. 2010
  20. 20.0 20.1 Kansas Secretary of State - 2010 Primary Election Results
  21. The Hutchinson News, "Reno officials among KNEA's House picks" 1 July, 2010
  22. 22.0 22.1 The Topeka Capital-Journal, "Davis, Hensley endorsing Biggs" 29 July, 2010
  23. The Kansas Free Press, "Leader Hensley Endorses Biggs for Sec'y of State, Calls on Steineger to Withdraw" 26 June, 2010
  24. Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission - Chris Biggs 2010 Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  25. Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission - Chris Biggs 2009 Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  26. Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission - Chris Steineger 2010 Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  27. The Topeka Capital-Journal, "GOP primary assured" 26 May, 2009
  28. Salina Journal, "Claeys makes progress on statewide election" 20 April, 2009
  29. Kansas City Star, "Republican Elizabeth Ensley announces candidacy for Kansas secretary of state" 19 Jan. 2010
  30. 30.0 30.1 Lawrence Journal-World & News, "Republican secretary of state candidate picks up endorsements" 25 March, 2010
  31. Sun Publications, "Sun endorsements for the Aug. 3 primary election" 14 July, 2010
  32. The Topeka Capital-Journal, "Thornburgh endorses Ensley" 22 Jan. 2010
  33. The Kansas Progress, "Gun Owners of America on Kris Kobach - Pro-gun Stalwart Running for Secretary of State in Kansas" 23 July, 2010
  34. Red State, "Kansas Gov’t Reform PAC endorses Patricia Lightner in Kansas’ Third District" 14 July, 2010
  35. Kansans for Government Reform PAC - Our Candidates
  36. Kansans for Life PAC - Kansas Secretary of State endorsement
  37. Kansas Progress, "Sen. Fred Thompson endorses Kris Kobach for Secretary of State" 26 Oct. 2009
  38. The Pitch, "Michelle Malkin stumping for Kris Kobach" 5 Nov. 2009
  39. Kansas City Political Buzz Examiner, "Sen. Fred Thompson formally endorsed Kris Kobach for Secretary of State" 26 Oct. 2009
  40. Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission - J.R. Claeys 2010 Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  41. Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission - J.R. Claeys 2009 Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  42. Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission - Elizabeth Ensley 2010 Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  43. Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission - Kris Kobach 2010 Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  44. Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission - Kris Kobach 2009 Campaign Contribution Disclosure Report Summary
  45. Lawrence Journal-World & News, "Kansan Kris Kobach helped write controversial Arizona immigration law" 27 April, 2010
  46. New York Times, "Why Arizona Drew a Line" 28 April, 2010
  47. KMBC 9 News, "Kobach's Immigration Role Leads To Questions" 3 May, 2010
  48. Red State, "Let’s Burn Kris Kobach at the Stake" 4 May, 2010
  49. "Illegal Immigration Rally: Kris Kobach and Sheriff Joe Arpaio," Watchdog.org, July 15, 2010
  50. Everyday Citizen, "Kobach's 'birther' joke is no laughing matter" 16 July, 2009
  51. Lawrence Journal-World & News, "Kobach says statement about Obama ‘just a joke’" 14 July, 2009
  52. South Missourian, "Former Missouri House member accused of theft, false report" 28 April, 2006
  53. Forward Kansas, "Updated: Sen. Steineger, Please Have the Real Mike Sager Stand Up" 13 May, 2010
  54. Kansas City Star, "Steineger often takes the road less traveled" 15 May, 2010
  55. The Pitch, "Chris Steineger won't confirm whether he hired disgraced Missouri lawmaker Mike Sager (updated)" 17 May, 2010
  56. Kansas Kid Conservative, "Claeys campaign comes out Strong against Elizabeth Ensley" 20 Jan. 2010
  57. The Topeka Capital-Journal, "Worker finds ballots in trunk" 25 Nov. 2008
  58. Kansas Progress, "JR Claeys for Secretary of State: Can Elizabeth Ensley be Trusted to Protect our Votes?" 5 Feb. 2010
  59. Forward Kansas, "Which Chris Steineger Will Show Before the Governmental Ethics Commission?" 17 May, 2010
  60. Topeka Capital-Journal, "Questions cloud Steineger campaign" 26 Feb. 2010
  61. Topeka Capital-Journal, "Steineger admits finance miscue" 1 March, 2010
  62. Lawrence Journal-World & News, "Secretary of State candidate fined $5,000 for violating campaign finance laws" 18 May, 2010
  63. Kansas Watchdog, "State Senator Steineger fined $5000 at Ethics Hearing" 19 May, 2010