Tuesday, September 16, 2014

GOP allies to decide Roberts’ fate

By The Herald Staff | 5/9/2014

TOPEKA — Will incumbent Pat Roberts be allowed to run for re-election to his U.S. Senate seat?

A board of top Kansas officials is set to meet Monday to consider Roberts’ eligibility after four Kansans filed objections to listing the longtime lawmaker on the primary ballot, according to media reports. The decision by the State Objections Board will come down to its members — Kris Kobach, Kansas secretary of state, Jeff Colyer, Kansas lieutenant governor, and Derek Schmidt, Kansas attorney general — all of whom previously have endorsed Roberts.

TOPEKA — Will incumbent Pat Roberts be allowed to run for re-election to his U.S. Senate seat?

A board of top Kansas officials is set to meet Monday to consider Roberts’ eligibility after four Kansans filed objections to listing the longtime lawmaker on the primary ballot, according to media reports. The decision by the State Objections Board will come down to its members — Kris Kobach, Kansas secretary of state, Jeff Colyer, Kansas lieutenant governor, and Derek Schmidt, Kansas attorney general — all of whom previously have endorsed Roberts.

The move to disqualify the three-term senator from the Aug. 5 Republican primary ballot comes as conservative challenger Milton Wolf seeks Roberts’ seat. Wolf has charged that Roberts failed his constituents by supporting former Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius in her position as U.S. Health and Human Services secretary. In that role, Sebelius played a major part in the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, an issue increasingly unpopular in many Republican circles.

Earlier this month, Wolf alleged in a letter to Kobach that Roberts does not truly live in Kansas, and instead maintains his residence in Alexandria, Virginia. The claim was substantiated earlier this year by a New York Times article, though Roberts has said he rents a room and bathroom from supporters in Dodge City, as well as owning a duplex unit in Dodge City that he rents out, according to media reports.

Kobach responded to Wolf’s claim by saying his hands were tied on the issue until a formal objection was filed. Less than a week later, Christine Tawney and Chuck Henderson, Manhattan, and Tom and Sylda Nichols, Leanordville, filed such objections with the Secretary of State’s Office, prompting Monday’s meeting of the State Objections Board.

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