Republican hopes of winning the Senate were dealt a major setback when the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that former Democrat candidate Chad Taylor’s name must be removed from the ballot.
Republican Kansas Sec. of State Kris Kobach ruled that Taylor’s name must stay on the ballot, even after he dropped out of the race. The Kansas State Supreme Court disagreed.
The court wrote in their opinion, “Our determination that the uncontroverted contents of Taylor’s September 3 letter timely satisfy the statutory requirements for withdrawal now leads us to Kobach’s clearly defined duty imposed by the law. Kobach’s attorney admitted at oral arguments that if the letter was held to comply with the statute, Kobach would have no discretion. This admission is consistent with the plain language of the last sentence of the statutory subsection: “No name withdrawn as provided in this section shall be printed on ballots for such office for the general election.” K.S.A. 25-306b(b). Accordingly, the issuance of a writ of mandamus is appropriate. See Slusher, 279 Kan. 789, Syl. ¶ 4 (“Mandamus is a proceeding designed for the purpose of compelling a public officer to perform a clearly defined duty, one imposed by law and not involving the exercise of discretion.”)”
A new Fox News poll shows why Republicans were arguing to keep the Democrat’s name on the ballot. With all three names on the ballot, Sen. Roberts led Independent Greg Orman and Taylor 40%-38%-11%. With only Roberts and Orman’s names on the ballot, the Independent led 48%-42%. A Senate seat that looked like a lock for Republicans is now in jeopardy of being lost to an Independent, who has already promised to caucus with the Senate’s other two Independents who caucus with the Democrats.
The rise of Greg Orman is a byproduct of the civil war carried out by Gov. Sam Brownback against the moderate members of his own party. Moderate Republicans have teamed up with Democrats and Independents to form a coalition that looks like it will power Orman to victory in November. Kansas isn’t going blue. It is still as red as ever, but Democrats may keep control of the Senate because of Gov. Brownback’s desire to purge the state’s Republican Party of anyone that was not far enough to the right for his tastes.
The smart move for the Democratic Party is to stay out of the way, and let this very public Republican fight play out on its own. The Republican plans of taking over the Senate have taken another hit. With days winding down until Election Day, Democrats might pull off the unexpected and maintain their Senate majority
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association