But if the congressman wins, he will not be allowed to use “Rep.” on the general election ballot, the Wichita Eagle reported.
Rep. Estes is facing a primary challenge this year from a candidate named Ron M. Estes. Given the opportunity to differentiate between the two similarly named candidates, the incumbent chose to add “Rep.” to the ballot.
The congressman has said the other Estes’ campaign is an “attempt to deceive Kansas voters” in the 4th District.
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The State Objections Board met on Monday to hear a complaint brought by Laura Lombard, a Democrat in the race, who said she was worried that if the incumbent won the primary, then he would get to use the title on the ballot in November, giving him an unfair advantage.
But the panel, which included Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and proxies from the attorney general and lieutenant governor’s offices, dismissed the complaint, the Eagle reported.
“This is partisan politics and we kind of knew walking in the door the likelihood of a partisan panel of all three Republicans — particularly Kris Kobach being the person who made the decision in the first place — we knew the likelihood of a ‘no’ was imminent,” Lombard said after the decision.
Ron M. Estes has donated to Democrats but is now a registered Republican. He has donated to Democratic challenger James Thompson, who is a candidate in the race.
Rep. Estes’ spokesman Josh Bell praised the decision to allow the congressman to use the title in the primary.
“Today’s ruling will help Kansans avoid confusion in the voting booth created by a sad attempt to mislead voters,” Bell said. “James Thompson should return his deceptive contributions from the imposter and his wife and Democrats running for Kansas’ 4th district should condemn any attempt to mislead voters.”