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Republicans survive election scare, win Kansas House seat

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The special election in a House district in the Midwestern state of Kansas was to replace Mike Pompeo, who became Trump's Central Intelligence Agency director.

Estes secured 53 percent of the vote to give him an 8,000 vote margin of victory over Thompson, who received 46 percent in the Democrat's stronger-than-expected challenge, according to Fox News.

Chris Pumpelly, a spokesman for his campaign, said Thompson would run for the seat again in 2018.

President Trump on Wednesday said the GOP had a "great win in Kansas" the night before, falsely claiming Democrats "spent heavily" to try to flip a House seat.

In a sign of concern for Republicans, Thompson edged Estes in the district's most populous county surrounding Wichita, a county Trump won by 18 points last November.

Whether sensing danger or just not taking any chances, House Speaker Paul Ryan is throwing his weight into the Georgia congressional race to replace the seat vacated by Health and Human Services head Tom Price, The Washington Post reported.

"The Democratic leadership came in last weekend, we started getting help", Thompson said.

Democrats could at least have set up a digital fundraising page, said Michael Whitney, who was the digital fundraising manager for Sanders' presidential campaign, or made any other small gesture in a sign of support for those working on the ground.

In a statement to the Wichita Eagle, he said he will spend the next several months "traveling through the 2nd district, meeting with Democrats, Republicans and unaffiliated voters and hearing their stories and concerns as I explore a possible run for Congress".

"Beyond that, it's clear that grassroots supporters will continue to play a pivotal role in the 2018 midterms by supporting and energizing House Democratic candidates deep into the map", spokeswoman Meredith Kelly said. Thompson opposed Kansas State Treasurer, (R) Ron Estes, for the Kansas 4th Congressional district.

Fearing potential fallout, Republicans injected last-minute money to help Estes while Trump and Vice President Mike Pence recorded get-out-the-vote phone calls on the candidate's behalf.

This week saw an amazingly close race in the special election for Kansas's 4th Congressional District, one of the most conservative parts of the country.

It was a victory for Trump as much as it was a victory for The Republican candidate. The district went for Trump by 27 points.

Republicans struggled to pull out a win Tuesday in a Kansas special election. But only once did the winning candidate in the special election get a higher percentage of the vote than their party's candidate in the preceding November election. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), was supported nearly entirely by individual small-dollar donors, while Estes had to lean on 11th-hour support from Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and a massive ad buy from the National Republican Congressional Committee to survive the race.

Less than three months after taking control of Washington, the Republican Party has already been put on the political defensive - thanks primarily to House races in Kansas, Georgia and Montana that have proved unexpectedly hard.

Brownback - not Trump -might be the real reason this race was so close in the first place.

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