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Posts in "Kan. Senate"
August 5, 2014
Updated 11:56 p.m. | Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts survived a Republican primary challenge Tuesday, defeating Milton Wolf and extinguishing conservative hopes of taking down another incumbent this cycle.
Roberts led Wolf, 48 percent to 41 percent, when The Associated Press called the race for the incumbent with 70 percent of precincts reporting. That’s a weak performance for a three-term incumbent, but he held on in a year featuring several challenges to Republican senators.
Roberts, who was first elected to Congress more than three decades ago, battled the perception he was a creature of Washington, D.C., who spent little time at home in the Sunflower State. Wolf, a tea-party-aligned candidate and distant cousin of President Barack Obama, battered Roberts on the topic. Full story
August 4, 2014
Tuesday night features some of the most intense — and final — tea party-vs.-business contests of the GOP primary season.
Polls close in Michigan and Kansas at 9 p.m. EST. Washington State has a mail-in ballot system, with the first set of results expected to be released by 11:30 p.m. EST.
Here are the six things to watch in those states:
July 29, 2014
As conservatives reel from a bruising loss in Mississippi, they are looking to the primary in Kansas to knock off an incumbent and salve their wounds.
But on Aug. 5, when GOP Sen. Pat Roberts faces Milton Wolf in a primary, they will likely realize they are not in Mississippi anymore.
Roberts has been in office for several decades — much like Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran, who survived a runoff with state Sen. Chris McDaniel last month by a narrow margin but galvanized conservatives to make it a close contest. The Kansan has been criticized for spending more time in Washington than in his home state — another accusation McDaniel leveled at Cochran.
But unlike McDaniel, Wolf’s bark might be stronger than his bite.
June 10, 2014
The primary challengers to two Senate Republicans quickly jumped on House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s primary loss in Virginia, using the stunning news in an effort to excite their base.
“Eric Cantor isn’t the only incumbent from Virginia who is going to lose his primary this year,” said Milton Wolf, a physician who has raised residency questions in his challenge to Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts. “On August 5, it’s Pat Roberts’ turn.”
“What we have seen tonight in Virginia shows that no race should be taken for granted and all the money and position in the world doesn’t resonate with an electorate that is fed up with a Washington establishment that has abandoned conservative principles,” said Joe Carr, a state legislator taking on Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander. “From Virginia to Mississippi, a transformational change is underway that is being led by a true grassroots movement.” Full story
March 7, 2014
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — Much of the attention surrounding the Conservative Political Action Conference is understandably focused on the plethora of Republicans here who may be running for president at this time next year.
But, mostly offstage and behind the scenes, a handful of tea-party-backed Senate candidates — each running uphill against better-funded Republicans — are here among the thousands of conservative activists. They’re shaking hands, meeting potential supporters and raising some money.
They include Matt Bevin of Kentucky and Milton Wolf of Kansas, each waging primary challenges to Republican senators. Also in attendance are lesser-known hopefuls Rob Maness of Louisiana, Greg Brannon of North Carolina and David Clements of New Mexico, plus Joe Miller of Alaska, who are fighting for their party’s nomination to take on Democratic senators.
Kentucky, Louisiana, Alaska and North Carolina are on the front lines of the battle for Senate control. Republicans need to pick up a net six seats to win the majority.
“It’s a good opportunity in one centralized location to meet as many people as possible, and get your name and face in front of them,” said Maness, a retired Air Force colonel who is battling GOP Rep. Bill Cassidy and Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu in Louisiana’s jungle primary. Full story
February 13, 2014
Mississippi Conservatives PAC, a super PAC supporting Sen. Thad Cochran’s re-election, is firing back at the senator’s GOP primary opponent, pointing to more than a dozen votes state Sen. Chris McDaniel has missed in the state legislature so that he could campaign.
According to recorded votes in the state legislature, McDaniel is the fifth-most-truant member of the Mississippi state Senate this session, which began on Jan. 7. The four state senators who have missed more votes than McDaniel this session include a lawmaker recovering from surgery, a state senator battling lung cancer, and McDaniel’s own campaign manager, state Sen. Melanie Sojourner.
Of the 14 votes McDaniel has missed, one was a vote to include “In God We Trust” on the state seal. At the time, McDaniel was in Washington, D.C., appearing on GOP commentator Glenn Beck’s The Blaze television network.
The attack on McDaniel’s voting record came just days after the primary candidate told a group of reporters in Washington, D.C., that Cochran “almost never” spends time back home in the Magnolia State.
January 31, 2014
The candidate: Physician Milton Wolf
The member: Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan.
The state: Roberts ran unopposed in his 2008 primary and won the general with 60 percent. Kansas hasn’t elected a Democrat to the Senate since 1932.
The candidate’s team: Jason Miller of Jamestown Associates is the general and media consultant.
Milton Wolf, a physician challenging Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts in a Republican primary, may be a distant relative of Barack Obama, but he is no fan of the second-term president.
In an interview with CQ Roll Call this week, Wolf said Obama’s policies “are destroying America” and called him “maybe the worst president of our history.”
“Indeed we are cousins, but I am quick to remind that you cannot choose your family,” Wolf said. “What you can do is choose to rise up and stop your family from destroying America.” Full story
October 22, 2013
Hard-line conservatives are rising out of the ashes of a weekslong government shutdown, emboldened by the possibility of adding to their ranks in the Senate next year — whether by picking up Democrat-held seats or taking out Republican incumbents.
Just two Republican senators have lost in primaries in the last two election cycles, but that’s not stopping a growing number of intraparty challengers this cycle. Conservative third-party groups and candidates hope to give more backup to folks like Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah, who led an effort to defund the health care law.
The GOP brand overall may have taken a significant hit this month and caused at least some concern within the party about obtaining or keeping the majority in either chamber in the next couple of election cycles. But the shutdown only fueled challenges to sitting Republicans.
It’s still too early to know exactly how competitive many of the challengers can be. At this point, there is a big difference in the competitiveness of the races from the top three to bottom three on this list. And as the most recent fundraising reports to the Federal Election Commission illustrated, nearly all of the incumbents’ opponents are starting out in deep financial holes.
Still, with outside groups such as the Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund beginning to engage, a challenger’s money isn’t the only threat — and any of these races could theoretically take off.
Here are the seven Republican senators most vulnerable to a primary challenge, in order: Full story
March 28, 2013
Every top Republican official in Kansas threw their support behind Sen. Pat Roberts’ re-election campaign on Thursday, signaling that the three-term senator is unlikely to get a primary challenge in 2014.
Roberts released a list of endorsements that included Gov. Sam Brownback, Secretary of State Kris Kobach, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Jerry Moran of Kansas, every House member in the congressional delegation and many others.
The Sunflower State is safe GOP territory, and Republicans are expected to hold the seat in 2014. But earlier this cycle, some quietly wondered if Roberts would face a primary challenge.
Kobach was the most-often mentioned possible challenger, CQ Roll Call noted in November. Now it’s clear the secretary of State is throwing his support behind Roberts, along with many others.
“No one fights for Kansas and Kansans harder or more effectively than Pat Roberts,” Moran said in a release. “I am honored to be on Pat’s team and look forward to continuing our work together to put Kansas first.”
Shira Toeplitz contributed to this report.
November 28, 2012
But that’s exactly how things looked two years before the 2012 elections, when Democrats surprised many with victories in Missouri and North Dakota on their way to picking up two seats. So the challenge for the GOP and incoming National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman Jerry Moran of Kansas is to capitalize on their opportunities.
That and how voters feel about President Barack Obama in 2014 could determine how the parties fare at the ballot box less than two years from now. Democrats won their current majority in 2006, in the second midterm election under President George W. Bush.
Republicans are hoping Obama’s second midterm is similarly kind to them, if not equal to the president’s 2010 midterm shellacking, when the GOP won seven seats (and control of the House) despite beginning the cycle as the underdog.