President Barack Obama’s second cousin once removed is thinking about mounting a primary challenge to Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS). According to Politico, Milton Wolf “has been gauging support” and sending emails to GOP activists “asking them to get in touch if they want more senators like Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Rand Paul.”
Obama’s “great-great-grandfather, Thomas Creekmore McCurry, is Wolf’s great-grandfather,” and Wolf’s “mother was five years older than Obama’s mother.” According to Wolf, his mother and Obama’s mother were childhood friends in Wichita, Kansas.
Wolf, “a 42-year-old practicing radiologist,” has “accused Roberts of raising the debt ceiling, bailing out Wall Street and supporting earmarks,” and he has also “noted that Roberts said recently that he does not see a way out of using military force in Syria and endorsed former Kansas Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to be secretary of Health and Human Services.”
If you’ve ever asked yourself what you can do and you’re ready to fight for America … email me,” he reportedly wrote in the email. “It’s time for the patriots to save America from our failed political class.”
As Politico noted, Roberts has been in Congress since 1981 and recently “voted against the comprehensive immigration bill this year and joined the controversial conservative push to defund Obamacare last month, even if it risks a government shutdown.” He had “$1.5 million cash on hand at the end of June” and has the backing of conservatives–like Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and Secretary of State Kris Kobach–in addition to moderate Republicans like former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole.
“I’m not vulnerable,” Roberts told Politico. “I’m in a very strong position. But I’m not taking anything lightly. Marines don’t do that. They take the hill.”
Roberts did, though, acknowledge that Wolf was “very conservative.”
“I think he’s a cousin of some sort to the president, but he’s very conservative,” Roberts said. “I have called him on occasion and congratulated him on some of his Facebook or blogs or whatever.”
Politico reported that Wolf “could start off with support of 25 percent to 30 percent of Republican voters, given how conservative Kansas is”– Mitt Romney carried Kansas by 22 points in 2012 against Obama. If Wolf beats Roberts, he would probably win the Senate. For Wolf to be successful, though, he may need the resources that outside groups like the Senate Conservatives Fund can provide.
Senate Conservative Fund Executive Director Matt Hoskins indicated Roberts’s vote to raise the debt limit and push Obamacare through Congress were concerns, but he did not indicate whether his group would endorse a primary challenger yet.
“Americans have had it with Republicans in Washington who say one thing and then do another,” Hoskins told the outlet. “Pat Roberts is no different. He voted to raise the debt limit and to raise taxes on 80 percent of American families. That’s a tough pill to swallow. He also voted to confirm Kathleen Sebelius who was picked to push Obamacare through Congress and to implement the law. That could be a very big problem for the senator if he faces a conservative challenger.”