Kansas’ top election official said Thursday that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump was justified in refusing to promise now that he’ll accept the election results, even as the state party chief and a GOP senator on the ballot urged candidates to do so. Secretary of State Kris Kobach called criticism of Trump over his refusal during Wednesday night’s presidential debate to commit to accepting the results “rather amusing.” He said no candidate should concede if the race is close and there are questions about the count, citing the 2000 contest in Florida, decided by fewer than 1,000 votes out of nearly 6 million cast. Trump has claimed that the election might be “rigged” against him. Kobach said he takes those comments to mean close results in several battleground states are susceptible to election fraud, which Kobach termed “entirely plausible.”
Fellow Republicans across the nation condemned Trump’s refusal to agree to accept the election results. Sen. Jerry Moran, a Kansas Republican expected to win a second term easily over Democrat Patrick Wiesner, said in a statement that democracy “depends on our country’s ability to elect our leaders in a fair and open process.”
“And, for more than 200 years, we the people have respected the outcome of our elections,” Moran said. “I will accept the will of Kansans and Americans, and encourage all candidates running for public office to do the same.”
A conservative Republican, Kobach was an early Trump supporter in Kansas. He has defended Trump as he has made unsubstantiated claims that election fraud could cost him the White House.