At his Park Avenue penthouse — 62 floors high and with a sparkling nighttime view of the Manhattan skyline — billionaire Peter Thiel last fall introduced to his friends an immigration hardliner who he would back with over $1 million to try and transform the Republican Party.
The guest of honor was not President Donald Trump. It was Kris Kobach. The alliance between the two iconoclasts has reshaped the race in that state, giving Kobach a puncher’s chance to beat the GOP establishment — possibly upsetting Republicans’ hopes to hold their Senate majority.
The investment in Kobach is Thiel’s most significant political bet since he risked his standing in Silicon Valley to support Donald Trump in 2016. And the wisdom of that bet will be tested just next week, when Kobach faces the voters of Kansas in a race that polls show to be tight.
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