Ron Estes, who won his bid in Kansas to replace now-CIA Director Mike Pompeo in the House of Representatives, said Thursday he came out ahead because voters wanted a Republican in Washington to work with President Donald Trump.
"People are really eager to make sure we do things like repeal and replace Obamacare and reform the tax code and support free and fair trade," Estes, the Kansas State Treasurer, told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" program. "That's the message that we talked about and people really want support and they want a Republican in the house to help do that."
Estes came out ahead by 7 percentage points, and several pundits are comparing that with Pompeo's 31-point win in November, saying the close race points could cause potential problems for the GOP, but Estes said two elections don't really compare.
"The November election, where the president is on the ballot, is much different than a special election where the turnout is very much lower," said Estes. "One of the things that we saw in the special election is that you will see Republicans and Democrats vote in a slightly higher percentage than independents. It's not necessarily a broad cross section of the district. What you want to do is make sure you get the folks out to vote that are as many as possible. That's really where we put our effort on was getting turnout."
Estes said Trump is very popular in his district, but still, people elect lawmakers to get things done, and they want to see actions being accomplished, so "we want to make sure that we work together, and that's one of the things I'm focusing on when we get there."
The new representative said overall, he wants to focus on achieving a balanced budget, because "ultimately, we can't just keep doubling our national debt every eight years. We have got to get that under control and not spend more than we bring in."
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