Kris Kobach's defeat was not at the very top of my wish list (a position occupied by Scott Walker), but it was certainly one of the best outcomes of yesterday's elections.
The Kansas secretary of state was defeated by Democratic challenger Laura Kelly who, like Tony Evers in Wisconsin, promised to restore sanity in her victory speech last night.
"The people of Kansas spoke and they spoke so loudly," she said. "Today, Kansans voted for change, not only in the direction of the state, but a change in the tone of our state." [...]
"What happened in Kansas today is different than anywhere else in the nation," Kelly said. "And I believe that you know, there will be a lot of talk around America about the "blue wave," but I don't believe that's what's happened here in Kansas. What happened in Kansas was a wave of common sense, a wave of bipartisanship. This wasn't one side beating the other, it was Democrats and Republicans and Independents all coming together to put our state back on track because we all know we have faced challenges over the last eight years like no other state."
Calls for bipartisanship aside, Kelly is undoubtedly going to run into opposition in the state legislature on several key issues, but that's okay. The state can handle that.
What the state and the rest of the nation could not handle is the second coming of Sam Brownback that Kobach promised he would be.
Kobach would have regressed through all the progress Kansas has made since rolling back Sam Brownback's signature tax "experiment" that bankrupted the state and led to a years-long fight over judicial independence itself.
Kobach's ascension would have had implications for the rest of the country as it would have furthered his aggressive efforts to suppress voters and deport immigrants. His policies as governor could have been replicated in Congress just like Sam Brownback's tax cuts were.
Just the same, Kobach's defeat also has implications for the rest of the country and it's a fairly clear signal that we can no longer ask 'what's the matter with Kansas?'
The fact is, after yesterday elections which also saw a Native American lesbian Democrat (Sharice Davids) defeat one of Trump's allies (Kevin Yoder), Kansas may be closer to being a purple state than Florida is. All it took was Sam Brownback showing them what the end game of Republican policy looks like.