TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in Kansas must remain on the November ballot even though he wants to withdraw against incumbent Republican Senator Pat Roberts. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said Thursday Democrat Chad Taylor did not comply with state law in withdrawing from the race. He says Taylor didn't formally declare that he would be unable to serve if elected. On Wednesday, Taylor withdrew from the race without explanation, raising questions about whether he quit to give independent candidate Greg Orman a better shot at defeating three-term conservative Roberts, who has struggled to solidify re-election in a predominantly Republican state. The Kansas race suddenly emerged as a wild card in the national fight for control of the U.S. Senate. Republicans need a net gain of six seats to control the chamber. Observers say Republican incumbent Robert’s chances of winning in Kansas improve if a Democratic name is on the ballot. But Secretary of State Kobach says politics played no part in his decision and says his office researched the law thoroughly before issuing the ruling.
"We wanted to make sure that we looked for all case law. We also wanted to look at past examples of people who have filed such requests. We did all of the above, looked at the past practices of this office and made as thorough review of the law as we could. We also wanted to involve the attorney general's office. The attorney general is in complete agreement."
Chad Taylor said in a statement Thursday that he was assured by a top Kobach aide that a letter he sent to the secretary of state's office was sufficient for withdrawing. Taylor says he will fight to have his name removed from the ballot but Kobach said Taylor's only recourse would be to file a lawsuit.