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Ford County sheriff endorses Mattivi — not Kobach — for attorney general

By: - January 13, 2022 12:01 pm
Tony Mattivi, a former assistant U.S. attorney, has been endorsed by the Ford County sheriff, who described Mattivi as the most qualified candidate in the race. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Tony Mattivi, a former assistant U.S. attorney, has been endorsed by the Ford County sheriff, who described Mattivi as the most qualified candidate in the race. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — The Ford County sheriff endorsed Republican candidate Tony Mattivi in the three-person primary for attorney general in Kansas.

Sheriff Bill Carr, who GOP candidate Kris Kobach has claimed as a supporter of his campaign, said Mattivi was the lone candidate for attorney general qualified to be the state’s top law enforcement officer. Mattivi, a former federal prosecutor, is running against Kobach and state Sen. Kellie Warren in the August primary.

“I endorse Tony Mattivi for attorney general because he’s the only candidate who is qualified for the job,” Carr said in a statement. “Tony is an experienced prosecutor who has tried some of our state and our country’s most challenging and complex cases.”

The southwest Kansas sheriff said the state’s next attorney general “should be a law enforcement professional, not a politician.”

Kobach, who served as Kansas’ secretary of state, ran unsuccessfully in 2018 for governor and in 2020 for U.S. Senate. Warren is a state senator representing Leawood, and has been endorsed by the Kansas Chamber’s political action committee. Mattivi worked for the U.S. Department of Justice as a prosecutor, eventually assigned to terrorism cases in Kansas.

Mattivi said the voters of Ford County could “count on me to fight for strong principles that support law enforcement and uphold the rule of law.”

During the campaign, Mattivi’s campaign has been endorsed by sheriffs, district attorneys, county attorneys and the Kansas State Troopers Association.

In July, Kobach announced endorsements from 10 sheriffs, including Carr in Ford County. Kobach’s campaign website lists Carr as a supporter of his campaign. That list also included sheriffs from Shawnee, Wichita, Leavenworth, Linn, Pawnee, Brown, Ness, Jackson and Anderson counties.

“Kris Kobach is a trusted conservative who will back the blue and protect the Constitution,” said Jackson County Sheriff Tim Morse.

Lawrence attorney Chris Mann is a candidate for the Democratic Party’s nomination for attorney general. It’s an open seat given Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s campaign for governor.

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Tim Carpenter
Tim Carpenter

Tim Carpenter has reported on Kansas for 35 years. He covered the Capitol for 16 years at the Topeka Capital-Journal and previously worked for the Lawrence Journal-World and United Press International. He has been recognized for investigative reporting on Kansas government and politics. He won the Kansas Press Association's Victor Murdock Award six times. The William Allen White Foundation honored him four times with its Burton Marvin News Enterprise Award. The Kansas City Press Club twice presented him its Journalist of the Year Award and more recently its Lifetime Achievement Award. He earned an agriculture degree at Kansas State University and grew up on a small dairy and beef cattle farm in Missouri. He is an amateur woodworker and drives Studebaker cars.

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