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A Special Win for Republicans

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Democrat James Thompson a candidate for Kansas 4th Congressional District speaks during a debate in Wichita Kan. President Donald Trump stepped into a surprisingly competitive special congressional election in Kansas Mo

James Thompson, the Democratic candidate, said, "Mr. Estes did not beat us".

"Ron has been deeply involved in his community for years and I'm confident he will be a strong voice for Kansas' 4th Congressional District in Washington, D.C".

"The DCCC will continue its longstanding and failed model of helping only most favored candidates until grassroots disgust makes that stance untenable", said Jeff Hauser, a longtime progressive strategist. Cruz told about 200 people who came to a GOP rally Monday that the Democratic hard-core base is going to show up for the special election.

Estes received 53 percent of the vote in Kansas's 4th Congressional District, compared to Thompson's 46 percent.

Estes took all but one county (Sedgwick, whose county seat is Wichita, which Thompson took by fewer than 1,900 votes), and won by 6.8 percent of the vote.

"This is the easiest election I've ever had", said Pawnee County Clerk Ruth Searight.

Estes won his spot by less than 7 percent.

Political party matters in that part of the state, according to Miranda Allen, of Kiowa. The special elections in Georgia and Kansas to replace Trump's Health and Human Service Secretary Tom Price and the Director of the CIA, Mike Pompeo, respectively, might offer an early, if revealing, testing ground for how things could go next November.

Allen lives in the district's rural area and works in agriculture. She was especially upset when the Republican governor recently vetoed Medicaid expansion.

"I wasn't even going to vote", she said as she left her polling site Tuesday morning. "They're voting against themselves". In a groundswell of grassroots support the week before the election, Thompson's campaign raised $240,000 from 20,000 individual donations from across the country.

On his first day as congressman-elect in Kansas' 4th District, Ron Estes took a call from the president of the United States.

Last year, the Pompeo re-election race drew limited attention. Romney won there by 26 points in 2012, and Trump by 27 points in 2016.

"That does not escape the attention of voters", said Ian Russell, who served as the DCCC's political director previous year. This means not only fund-raising in deep blue states to sponsor operations in swing states, but also building up the Democratic party in new places - such as Kansas.

The closeness of the contest will nevertheless be interpreted as a warning shot from voters as the 2018 midterms approach and Democrats energized since Trump's election as president.

Thompson, who is pro-choice, won his party's nomination in February after pushback from voters over the possibility of the party selecting an anti-choice Democrat as its nominee. "People were writing us off the whole time", he said.

From Wichita, Kansas to Roswell, Georgia - If Democrats have any hopes of recapturing The House of Representatives in 2018 they will need to reconnect with rural America.

Thompson spokesman Chris Pumpelly said Estes' victory required recorded calls from Trump and Vice President Mike Pence and other help from Republicans nationally. Thompson portrayed Estes, the state's treasurer, as a close Brownback ally even though the governor never publicly endorsed Estes.

Estes is the state treasurer.

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"Kansans are fortunate to have this committed public servant representing them in Congress", Ryan said in a statement.

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