State Treasurer Ron Estes was selected by delegates to the 4th Congressional District Republican Nominating Convention to serve as the party’s standard-bearer in the April 11 special election.
The election was called to replace recently named CIA Director Mike Pompeo in the United States House of Representatives.
Sixty-six of the 126 delegates who attended the convention voted for Estes on the second ballot, giving him the nomination.
Alan Cobb, a former Donald Trump campaign staffer, finished second in the crowded field with 43 delegate votes.
Former Rep. Todd Tiahrt, who represented the district from 1994 to 2010 and lost the Republican primary to Pompeo in 2014, finished a distant third with 17 delegate votes.
Two candidates failed to make it past the first round of balloting.
As the Associated Press reports, the April 11 special election is considered a bellwether:
The April 11 vote is the nation’s first special congressional election since Trump’s win, and Democrats are hoping to channel voter discontent into an upset in the heavily Republican district.
But GOP leaders are not taking the seat for granted.
“These special elections are low turnout, which means if a group really gets organized and energized and well funded they can boost their own turnout — which would flip a seat. So we are not taking this as just a solid Republican seat that we will win easily,” said Clay Barker, executive director of the Kansas Republican Party.
Like Cobb, Estes has ties to President Trump.
“The 60-year-old Republican was one of the electors who voted for Trump, and said he is pleased with the direction the new president has taken the country,” the Associated Press reported.