Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 11, 2016

Election Official: Democrat Must Stay in Kansas Senate Race (Updated)

Roberts is a Kansas Republican. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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.

Taylor released a statement shortly after the decision, saying he was told by Kobach’s office Wednesday afternoon that he had fulfilled the necessary measures for removal from the ballot, according to Kansas First News.

Later in the day, Taylor said in a statement he will challenge Kobach’s decision.

“I am planning to challenge the ruling of the Kansas Secretary of State, who serves on Pat Roberts’ Honorary Committee.  Yesterday afternoon, I contacted Brad Bryant, Director of Elections and Legislative Matters for the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office, to inquire about the requisite steps needed to terminate my candidacy for United State Senate and to withdraw my name from the ballot. Mr. Bryant provided explicit instructions as to the information required in the letter to remove my name.

“I proceeded to draft and deliver a letter to the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office of Elections, giving notice of my withdrawal from the United States Senate race. I specifically asked Mr. Bryant if the letter contained all the information necessary to remove my name from the ballot. Mr. Bryant said, ‘Yes’ affirming to me, and my campaign manager, that the letter was sufficient to withdraw my name from the ballot.

“Upon confirming that my letter would remove my name from the ballot, I presented identification, signed the notary ledger, and signed the letter before a Secretary of State employee notarized it. I again confirmed with Mr. Bryant that this notarized letter removed my name from the ballot. He again said ‘Yes.’ My candidacy in this race was terminated yesterday.”

Without Taylor on the ballot, Kansas’ Senate contest is rated a Tilts Republican contest by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.

Alexis Levinson contributed to this report.


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  • docb

    KKKobach is the kocked up Bros toady and writes the boiler plate for the dirty ALEC regressive laws Nationally…

    He pulled this out of his is old and obscure and is already being challenged !

    It will not stand!

  • docb

    Kobach is the kocked up Bros toady and writes all the boilerplate for the dirty Alec laws…This will not stand as the update reveals! Taylor followed the rules and has confirmation…

  • Gentil Aquitaine

    One wonders if today’s Republicans grasp the meaning of Orwellian irony–and the extent to which they are figures of it!

  • Hugh Everett

    Kansas election law says the Democrat remains on the ballot, even though he has admitted that he’s a worthless loser who doesn’t deserve to be a Senator.If all Democrats were as honest as this guy, there would be no Democrats on any ballot in any state..

  • pitch1934

    I think you meant to say that if all politicians were as honest as this one we would never have any elected officials.

  • pitch1934

    This seems to be a flagrant violation of conflict of interests. The person making the judgment has a stake in the election. Get real. Now we know what the trouble in Kansas really is.

  • Boyd Redding

    More criminal violence, by blacks:

  • Jesse4

    More racist stupidity, by whites.

  • Tip

    You’d sound a little brighter if you read the article. The Democrat followed the law. The Republican is overriding the law.

    You’ve got to keep up or drop out.

  • Hugh Everett

    The law in Kansas is written by Republicans, interpreted by Republicans, upheld by Republicans, and administered by Republicans. That’s why Democrat cheating doesn’t work in Kansas. As a result, Taylor will remain on the ballot because he won the nomination.

    I invite you to keep up with forecasts from Nate Silver and the New York Times. You should abandon all hope and prepare for the tsunami.

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