- Associated Press - Saturday, April 15, 2017

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - A surprisingly competitive special congressional election in Kansas has Democrats hopeful about cracking Republicans’ lock on the state’s delegation next year.

And an open contest for governor also looms.

Republican Ron Estes’ 7-percentage-point victory over Democrat James Thompson in the 4th Congressional District in south-central Kansas drew national attention.

GOP candidates there won by an average of 27 percentage points over the past 20 years. The seat was vacant after former U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo’s appointment as CIA director.

Democrats are bullish about the 4th District but also about 2nd District of eastern Kansas and the 3rd in the Kansas City area.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is term-limited and there’s speculation that he may leave early for a job with President Trump’s administration. Both parties expect a crowded field.

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