The Kansas Senate race involving Republican Pat Roberts has gone from ridiculous, to the bizarre with one candidates desire to have himself removed from the ballot in question and, quite possibly, responsible for driving a final outcome in the race.
With independent Greg Orman surging, Democrats believe he’s their best bet to defeat Roberts and have been pressuring Democrat Chad Taylor to withdraw. Now, he’s trying and a Pat Roberts ally, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) is in a position to prevent it. This one is most likely headed to court before a single ballot has been cast as a direct result of two parties struggling for power, not the democratic process.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) has denied Democrat Chad Taylor’s request to be removed from the Kansas Senate ballot.
His Thursday decision means Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) will face three candidates on the ballot this fall — Taylor, independent Greg Orman and libertarian Randall Batson — boosting the vulnerable senator’s reelection prospects.
The charges and counter-charges are already flying back and forth which will likely only depress turn-out even further. Who that may help in the end is unclear at this point.
One Democratic operative in the state, Chris Reeves, said he expects some sort of challenge soon.
“Several candidates on down ballot have been released from running and other selections made without the huddling of attorneys to keep someone on the ballot – not just this year, but in prior years,” he said in an email. “If Kobach was to force this issue, we would point out state certification of those changes in 2012 and 2014, and note that this would be uneven enforcement of the law by a different standard.”
Reeves also said the move plays right into Democrats’ hands as they believe it underscores the argument they’ve been making against Kobach.
“If the Republicans challenge [Taylor’s exit], to be honest, it would be the greatest thing imaginable because it would make Kris Kobach look like a partisan hack,” Reeves said.