U.S. Representative Roger Marshall won the Kansas Republican primary for the Senate on Tuesday, defeating Kris Kobach with the help of the party establishment, which feared Kobach would hurt Republican chances in the fall.
The race was among a number of Congressional primary contests in five U.S. states on Tuesday. In Missouri, incumbent Representative William Lacy Clay was ousted by progressive challenger Cori Bush in the Democratic primary. Bush, a nurse, became a community activist after Black man Michael Brown was fatally shot by police in 2014.
In Michigan, prominent progressive Representative Rashida Tlaib said she was confident she would hold off a challenge from local Black leader Brenda Jones, but results were trickling in.
The outcomes in Kansas, Michigan, Arizona, Missouri and Washington will establish the nominees for the Nov. 3 elections to the House of Representatives and Senate that will determine the balance of power in Congress.
Marshall, 59, was supported by establishment Republicans who feared a polarizing figure like Kobach could lose the traditionally Republican seat to Democrats, who could gain control of the Senate.
A doctor who has represented western Kansas in the House since 2017, Marshall beat a crowded field. With 3,217 of 3,577 precincts reporting, he had 40% of the vote, with Kobach at 26%, results from the Kansas secretary of state said. A third candidate, Bob Hamilton, had 19%.
Marshall will run in November against the Democratic nominee state Senator Barbara Bollier, a former Republican who won her primary easily.
Republicans currently have a 53-47 Senate majority, and non-partisan analysts see the competition for Senate control as either a toss-up or slightly favoring Democrats.