One of the critical features of this election was that the Republican nominee was the state treasurer. Given Brownback’s widespread unpopularity, and the significant budget hole that could be (perhaps unfairly) attributed to Estes, it isn’t surprising that Thompson ran well.Moreover, Thompson didn’t exactly run as a national Democrat. While he wasn’t a conservative Democrat by any stretch of the imagination, his website emphasized his support for Second Amendment rights, funding law enforcement, and “discourage[ing] illegal [immigration] activity,” alongside support for LGBT rights and steps to combat climate change. Again, this isn’t to say he is conservative or a “blue dog” Democrat; he isn’t. It’s just to say he ran to Hillary Clinton’s right, especially on the salient issue of guns.While we are on the subject of Thompson’s website, notice that his issues page never mentioned Trump. Brownback’s name, however, appears eight times, three times in bold. Again, local issues really were an important feature of the race.
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