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Posts in "Kan. Senate"
September 23, 2014
Readers will have one more opportunity this week to pick the House and Senate races Roll Call will cover from the ground in the final weeks of the midterms.
Last week, thousands of votes were cast to send reporters @cahnemily and @alexis_levinson on the road in our first #RCReadersChoice survey. Two House races and two Senate races lead their packs, and now readers have until Thursday at 5 p.m. for the runoff contest.
On the Senate side, readers can select between Kansas, where GOP Sen. Pat Roberts is unexpectedly fighting for his re-election, and Colorado, where Democratic Sen. Mark Udall is attempting to fend off a strong challenge from GOP Rep. Cory Gardner. In the first round of voting, Kansas was the clear front-runner, and Colorado beat out the North Carolina Senate race by just two votes to make the final round.
The finalist House races are California’s 52nd District, located in San Diego, and Nebraska’s 2nd District, located in Omaha. Both incumbents in these races — Democrat Scott Peters in California and Republican Lee Terry in Nebraska — are on Roll Call’s list of the 10 Most Vulnerable House Members.
Have an opinion on which race we should cover? Tweet your thoughts @RollCall with #RCReadersChoice. Otherwise, vote below:
September 19, 2014
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has instructed county election officials to mail overseas election ballots without listing a Democratic candidate for Senate, his office confirmed Friday to CQ Roll Call.
Kobach’s decision concludes a Kansas Senate race saga that has dragged on for several weeks, starting when Democratic nominee Chad Taylor ended his campaign earlier this month. The result is a massive boost for independent Greg Orman, a strong fundraiser who has polled competitively against Sen. Pat Roberts. Full story
Freedom Partners Action Fund has reserved air time in the Kansas Senate race, where Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., is fighting for his political life.
The Koch brothers-backed group placed a $297,100 buy running in various markets from Sept. 24 through Oct. 7, according to numbers provided to CQ Roll Call by a source tracking ad buys.
From Sept. 24 through Oct. 7, the group reserved $21,200 on Topeka and Wichita broadcast television. From Oct. 1 through Oct. 7, they reserved $4,040 on Joplin cable, $117,025 on Kansas City cable, $1,725 on Line cable, $25,302 on Topeka cable, $2,397 on Tulsa cable, and $62,466 on Wichita cable.
Koch Industries, the business conglomerate owned by Charles and David Koch, is headquartered in Wichita, Kansas.
Roberts faces independent candidate Greg Orman, a well-funded candidate who has recently polled very well against Roberts. On Thursday, the state Supreme Court made Roberts’ life harder when they ruled that the Democratic nominee, Chad Taylor, would not appear on the ballot. Full story
September 18, 2014
The Kansas Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Democrat Chad Taylor will not appear on the general-election ballot as a candidate for Senate — and it all came down to just two words Taylor included in his letter to the secretary of state’s office.
The ruling is a boon for independent candidate Greg Orman, who already had a legitimate chance to oust Republican Sen. Pat Roberts. His odds undoubtedly improved by Taylor’s removal from the ballot, since Taylor can no longer take up any anti-Roberts votes. Full story
September 10, 2014
Arizona Sen. John McCain is planning a trip to Kansas to assist fellow Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, who is locked in a surprisingly competitive re-election battle.
In a brief interview with CQ Roll Call on Wednesday, McCain said he’ll stump for “an old Marine” — Roberts — at one of several stops the former presidential nominee will make across the Senate map over the final eight weeks of the cycle. He’s already been to New Hampshire and Virginia on behalf of Republican challengers, and that’s just the start.
“I’m going to Oregon. I’m going to North Carolina. I’m going to a couple other places,” McCain said. “You know how it is these last couple of months.” Full story
September 6, 2014
Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts is in for a tough battle this fall. But in the Republican’s first public appearance with the candidate that has put his re-election in jeopardy, Roberts made clear he’s not only running against independent Greg Orman — he’s running against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Roberts and Orman faced off in a debate at the Kansas State Fair Saturday, just three days after Democratic nominee Chad Taylor tried to drop out of the race, opening the door for Orman to have a real shot at ousting the senator.
Roberts, who had not seemed to be taking the campaign particularly seriously, turned it on Saturday and came out swinging. He cast Orman, who has not yet said which party he would caucus with if elected, as a vote for Reid as Senate Majority Leader.
“I am the only candidate on this stage that will vote to put Harry Reid out to pasture,” Roberts said. “My opponent wants you to believe he’s an independent. He is not. He is a liberal Democrat by philosophy. He has given thousands of dollars to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and, listen to this, listen to this, Harry Reid. Now Kansans know better.”
Roberts stuck to that message through the whole debate, bringing every single question back to Reid. So much so that Orman cracked, “It’s shocking that we didn’t hear the name Harry Reid in that,” when Roberts chose to mention Obama, instead, in an answer about the 2nd Amendment.
September 4, 2014
Updated 6:03 p.m. | A top state election official announced Thursday that Chad Taylor, the Democratic nominee in the Kansas Senate race who dropped out of the race Wednesday, must appear on the November ballot.
Taylor’s exit could drastically change Sen. Pat Roberts’ re-election prospects, paving the way for independent Greg Orman to galvanize the state’s political center and left. In short, without a Democrat on the ballot, Roberts is the GOP’s most vulnerable senator this cycle.
But Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a Republican who backs Roberts, said at a Thursday news conference that Taylor did not provide evidence that he was incapable of “performing the duties of office” if he were elected, per state election rules. Full story
September 3, 2014
Updated, 8:36 a.m. | Sen. Pat Roberts’ Democratic challenger abruptly dropped out of the race in Kansas Wednesday night, opening up a potentially competitive contest between the Republican and independent candidate Greg Orman.
Chad Taylor, a county district attorney, asked for the Secretary of State to remove his name from the ballot and described his campaign as “terminated,” according to The Wichita Eagle. He told the Eagle he had deliberated and had talked with Democratic Party leadership at all levels.
The move dramatically shifts the dynamic of the Senate race. Kansas is a Republican leaning state, but polls have shown extremely tepid support for Roberts. The senator defeated a weak and underfunded tea party primary challenger last month by a mere seven percent, and Roberts got only 48 percent of the vote. Roberts also suffered from reports that he did not own a residence in Kansas, but rather lived in Washington, D.C., where he has worked for the past several decades as a congressional staffer, then a congressman, and now a senator.
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