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Image: Laura Kelly
Laura Kelly speaks at the Capitol in Washington, on July 27, 2022.J. Scott Applewhite / AP file

Midterm elections roundup: Kansas Democrats diverge on abortion

Gov. Laura Kelly has avoided the issue, while Rep. Sharice Davids has leveraged the issue against her GOP opponent.

By and

An abortion rights victory in Kansas earlier this year sent shockwaves through the political world as an early sign that abortion could be a top motivating issue in the midterms. But Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly isn’t focusing on the issue in her campaign, NBC News’ Adam Edelman reports. 

Kelly and aligned outside groups have so far avoided the issue as they’ve outspent state Attorney General Derek Schmidt on the airwaves. That’s because Kelly, the only Democrat up for re-election in a state former President Donald Trump won in 2020, needs support from Republicans who may take more conservative positions on abortion if she wants to win. 

But not every Kansas Democrat is avoiding abortion. Democratic Rep. Sharice Davids, who is in a competitive race in the 3rd District, launched a new TV ad targeting Republican Amanda Adkins on abortion, per NBC News’ Allan Smith. 

Elsewhere on the campaign trail:

Indiana Senate: GOP Rep. Victoria Spartz is eyeing a run for Senate in 2024 if GOP Sen. Mike Braun runs for governor, Politico reports.

Iowa Senate: Iowa Democrat Mike Franken denied that he tried to kiss his former campaign manager, telling Politico, “I am an active supporter of any effort to uncover and disclose assaults of any matter. But this one didn’t happen.” 

North Carolina Senate: Former President Donald Trump traveled to North Carolina Friday night for a rally boosting his preferred candidates, including GOP Senate hopeful Ted Budd, who told the crowd, “I think I can speak for all of us here: we are glad to have Donald J. Trump back in North Carolina!,” per NBC News’ Vaughn Hillyard. Trump also closed his rally with a song tied to the QAnon conspiracy theory, which comes as Trump has appeared to reference the theory on his social media platform.  

Pennsylvania Senate: Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman’s clemency efforts have become a new focus of Republican Mehmet Oz’s attacks, NBC News’ Henry Gomez reports. Meanwhile, on the campaign trail, Fetterman held his first campaign rally in Philadelphia over the weekend.

Arizona Governor: Wyoming Republican Rep. Liz Cheney said she would do “everything I can to make sure that Kari Lake is not elected.” The Arizona Republic reported that Lake’s opponent, Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, failed to report the income she earned as an Uber driver while serving in the state Senate.

Maine Governor: Former GOP Gov. Paul LePage and his wife “received property tax breaks reserved for permanent Florida residents” from 2009-2015, which included some of his term as governor, and since 2018, the New York Times reports.

Michigan Governor: Republican gubernatorial nominee Tudor Dixon joked about the 2020 kidnapping plot against Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, saying Friday: “For someone so worried about getting kidnapped, Gretchen Whitmer sure is good at taking business hostage and holding it for ransom.”

Michigan-07: Democratic Rep. Elissa Slotkin and Republican Tom Barrett faced off in a debate Sunday, where they sparred over the economy and abortion rights, per the Detroit News. During the debate, Barrett questioned Slotkin’s residence, following a Detroit News report that she is leasing a condo from a business executive who is also a campaign donor.