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Abortion rights, Kris Kobach’s political future decided on in Kansas primary

The Kansas Supreme Court ruled that abortion is a fundamental right under the state Constitution. A ballot question sought to reverse that decision.

(CN) — Kansans shut down a constitutional amendment on Tuesday that would have allowed the Republican-controlled Legislature to further restrict or even ban abortions, while Republican firebrand Kris Kobach fought to win another chance at a political office following defeats for the U.S. Senate and governorship.

Kansans voted on a constitutional amendment called the Value Them Both amendment that states abortion is not a right under the Kansas Constitution. The vote comes after a Kansas Supreme Court ruling in 2019 found that abortion procedures were guaranteed under the state Constitution as part of personal autonomy, “which includes the ability to control one’s own body.”

In light of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the amendment would have allowed the Republican-controlled Legislature to pass new laws restricting or even banning abortions.

The AP quickly called the vote for the opposition to the amendment, with a vote of 58.8% to 41.2% with 95% of the votes reported. The polls closed at 7 p.m. Central.

In the attorney general contest, Trump ally Kobach sought to reenter public office. Kobach gained national attention as a frequent guest on conservative talk shows and part of former President Donald Trump’s election integrity commission.

Kobach faced former federal prosecutor Tony Mattivi and state Senator Kellie Warren for the job. Although Kobach has greater name recognition, Warren has the bulk of support from Kansas Republican organizations.

Kobach won the race with 42.3%, with Warren taking 37.9% and Mattivi 19.8%.

In the Democratic primary for governor, incumbent Laura Kelly leads Richard Karnowski 93.8% to 6.2%. The AP has called the race for Kelly.

On the Republican side, current Secretary of State Derek Schmidt leads Arlyn Briggs 80.6% to 19.4%. Schmidt was called the winner by the AP.

In the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, incumbent Senator Jerry Moran leads Joan Farr 80.5% to 19.5%. The AP has called the race for Moran.

Mark Holland won for the Democrats with 38%, followed by Paul Buskirk at 20.2 and Patrick Wiesner at 17.7%.

In the secretary of state race, Republican incumbent Scott Schwab beat Mike Brown 55.2% to 44.8%.

Democrat Jeanna Repass is running unopposed.

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