Monday, September 01, 2014

State senator targets Roberts, suggests Wolf isn’t electable

By The Herald Staff | 5/23/2014

HIAWATHA — A conservative state legislator says he’s considering a bid for the U.S. Senate, potentially setting up a three-way race in the Republican primary.

State Sen. Dennis Pyle, R-Hiawatha, announced Friday the formation of an exploratory committee to consider joining the fight for the seat now held by U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts. The incumbent, as well as fellow Milton Wolf, a Kansas City-area radiologist, already have filed to run.

HIAWATHA — A conservative state legislator says he’s considering a bid for the U.S. Senate, potentially setting up a three-way race in the Republican primary.

State Sen. Dennis Pyle, R-Hiawatha, announced Friday the formation of an exploratory committee to consider joining the fight for the seat now held by U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts. The incumbent, as well as fellow Milton Wolf, a Kansas City-area radiologist, already have filed to run.

Pyle said Friday he’s heard from Kansans who think Roberts isn’t conservative enough and were excited to see opposition from the more conservative Wolf. Still, Pyle said, they think Wolf will fall “significantly short” of unseating the senator.

“I too am disappointed,” he said. “Kansas’ chance to replace Pat Roberts with a more conservative senator can’t be squandered simply because an electable candidate with a genuine conservative record isn’t in the race.

“After months of prayer, consideration and discussion with my family, I have decided to explore the feasibility of becoming an alternative candidate for conservative Republicans who want to replace Pat Roberts. Thanks to the generous backing of some key Kansas donors, I have secured the funds to briefly, but critically, explore a possible campaign for U.S. Senate.”

While joining the race could divide the conservative vote, Pyle said, that’s not his intent. He hopes to be a point of unification because of his proven conservative Republican record, he said, suggesting conservative voters would need to make an early, pre-primary choice between supporting him or Wolf.

“Rest assured, I will only enter this race if I have the support it takes to run a successful campaign and deliver conservative Kansas Republicans the representation they deserve,” Pyle said. “I hope that Mr. Wolf will join me in seeking the input of conservative Republicans across Kansas and be willing to do what is best for the Republican Party and the conservative cause.”

Pyle now serves as a state senator in Northeast Kansas, where he was elected to the Kansas House in 2000 and the Kansas Senate in 2004.

He unsuccessfully campaigned against fellow Republican U.S. Rep. Lynn Jenkins for Kansas’ 2nd Congressional House seat in 2010.

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