Republican primary candidate for Governor Kris Kobach, speaks to supporters just after Tuesday night’s tight race with Gov. Jeff Colyer. Photo: Steve Pope/Getty Images

Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who holds a razor-thin lead over incumbent Jeff Colyer in Kansas' Republican gubernatorial primary dubbed too close to call, said Wednesday that he will not recuse himself from a recount process.

Why it matters: Kobach's position as the state’s top election official and a staunch ally of President Trump conflicts with concerns that have been raised about the integrity of his involvement in past U.S. elections. However, local reports explain there's no law mandating him to recuse himself from a recount.

"The recount thing is done on a county level, so the secretary of state does not actually participate directly in the recount," Kobach said at a campaign event, per The Kansas City Star. "The secretary of state’s office merely serves as a coordinating entity overseeing it all but not actually counting the votes."

  • Kansas does not have a policy for an automatic recount, and Kobach and Colyer did not rule out the possibility of one they would have to request. However, candidates may request a recount if the margin is less than 0.5%.

The details: As of Wednesday, Kobach was leading by less than 200 votes as remaining ballots continue to be counted. He said Republicans cannot wait until the race is resolved next week to start campaigning, so he will begin immediately as the presumptive winner. "I'm carrying the baton for the first week with the full knowledge I may hand the baton to Jeff," Kobach said.

At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, Colyer expressed optimism that the outstanding provisional and mail-in ballots will go in his favor. He said he won't make a decision on a recount until those ballots are counted.

  • It can "clearly change the course of this outcome. … They will go our way," he told reporters. Colyer explained the need for unity among Republicans despite the outcome, saying: "It’s important that a Republican governor is elected in November."

The other side: The Democratic nominee for governor is veteran state Senator Laura Kelly. The Associated Press notes that she has been appealing to moderate Republican voters. Some Republicans are reportedly worried that Kobach, who led Trump's now-disbanded voter fraud commission, would be too polarizing — a benefit for Democrats.

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Trump signs bill to prevent government shutdown

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel and President Trump arrives at the U.S. Capitol in March. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Trump signed a bill to extend current levels of government funding into the new fiscal year, White House spokesperson Judd Deere confirmed early Thursday.

Driving the news: The Senate on Tuesday passed the legislation to fund the federal government through Dec. 11, by a vote of 84-10.

Editor's note: This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

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In photos: Deadly wildfires devastate California's wine country

The Shady Fire ravages a home as it approaches Santa Rosa in Napa County, California, on Sept. 28. The blaze is part of the massive Glass Fire Complex, which has razed over 51,620 acres at 2% containment. Photo: Samuel Corum/Agence France-Presse/AFP via Getty Images

More than 1700 firefighters are battling 26 major blazes across California, including in the heart of the wine country, where one mega-blaze claimed the lives of three people and forced thousands of others to evacuate this week.

The big picture: More than 8,100 wildfires have burned across a record 39 million-plus acres, killing 29 people and razing almost 7,900 structures in California this year, per Cal Fire. Just like the deadly blazes of 2017, the wine country has become a wildfires epicenter. Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency in Napa, Sonoma, and Shasta counties.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 33,880,896 — Total deaths: 1,012,964 — Total recoveries: 23,551,663Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 a.m. ET: 7,232,823 — Total deaths: 206,887 — Total recoveries: 2,840,688 — Total tests: 103,939,667Map.
  3. Education: School-aged children now make up 10% of all U.S COVID-19 cases.
  4. Health: Moderna says its coronavirus vaccine won't be ready until 2021
  5. Travel: CDC: 3,689 COVID-19 or coronavirus-like cases found on cruise ships in U.S. waters — Airlines begin mass layoffs while clinging to hope for federal aid
  6. Business: Real-time data show economy's rebound slowing but still going.
  7. Sports: Steelers-Titans NFL game delayed after coronavirus outbreak.