TOPEKA, KS — 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 Sen. Pat Roberts.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said Thursday Democrat Chad Taylor did not comply with state law. He says Taylor didn’t formally declare that he would be unable to serve if elected.
“The law is very clear on this point, we now have no choice but to keep his name on the ballot,” Kobach said in a press conference.
It all comes down to Kansas law, saying that after a primary, must declare he is incapable of fulfilling the requirements of office, but Taylor says he followed all the rules, contacting Brad Bryant, Director of Elections and Legislative Matters for the Kansas Secretary of State’s Office. Taylor says he asked specifically what “steps (were) needed to terminate my candidacy.”
Taylor says “Mr. Bryant provided explicit instructions” and he followed them, “I specifically asked Mr. Bryant if the letter contained all the information necessary to remove my name from the ballot. Mr. Bryant said, “Yes” affirming to me, and my campaign manager, that the letter was sufficient to withdraw my name from the ballot.”
Kobach says that’s simply not true. “We questioned Mr. Bryant about what he said to Mr. Taylor yesterday, at no time did Mr. Bryant state that the filing Mr. Taylor gave was sufficient and valid to withdraw his candidacy.”
Taylor fired back late Thursday implying partisan politics saying in a statement, “I am planning to challenge the ruling of the Kansas Secretary of State, who serves on Pat Roberts’ Honorary Committee.”
“Mr. Taylor is an attorney, he is capable of reading statutes and the statute’s very clear on this point,” Kobach said, “and I will note many non-attorneys have withdrawn from office in the past and they have all read the statute and understood that it requires a declaration and have made that declaration.”
Read Taylor’s statement regarding how he withdrew from the race here.
The Associated Press contributed to this story