A state panel said this week that a Kansas House candidate will stay on the ballot after he was charged with election perjury. However, with political control of the Legislature at stake in the upcoming election, it’s probably not the last time the issue will come up.
Republican Adam Thomas was charged by Johnson County officials after Democrats said he didn’t really live in the 26th House district where he was running.
The top Democrat in the Kansas House, Jim Ward, said the perjury charge could sway some voters. Add in other factors, like a polarizing president, and Ward believes it’s a formula that makes a normally Republican district competitive for Democrats.
"I don't think it wins it by itself,” Ward said in an interview. “I think it's just one other thing that voters will consider, and it's a serious one.”
The district has voted solidly Republican in recent elections, meaning it would take a large swing for Democrats to have a shot.
Republicans are also not giving up on the seat. An attorney for Thomas, Michael Kuckelman, calls the arrest politically motivated.
“The only complaint about the Republican nominee came from a Democrat who happens to be the Democrat nominee on the same ballot,” he said in an interview. “It’s got to be politically motivated.”
Kuckelman said Thomas will fight the charge and stay in the race.
Stephen Koranda has more: