The Latest: Trump tweets for Kansas Republican in House race


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

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.