Secretary of State Kris Kobach isn’t worried about potential political fallout from his decision to keep Democrat Chad Taylor on the ballot in the U.S. Senate races. Political scientists predict the move could damage Kobach in his own re-election race against Jean Schodorf, a Wichita Democrat. Kobach says he’s doing his duty of upholding the state’s election laws. “If someone is upset at me for enforcing the law as it is clearly written and they want to vote against me for that reason, that’s fine,” he said last week. “My job is to enforce the law, not make it up. In my view, my electoral consequences have to be set aside.” Taylor, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, submitted a letter to the Secretary of State’s Office to withdraw his name from the ballot, a move political observers said would benefit independent challenger Greg Orman in the race against longtime Sen. Pat Roberts.
Kobach determined that Taylor had failed to follow the letter of the law, which requires candidates to declare that they are incapable of serving in order to withdraw.
An open-records request confirmed that all other candidates withdrawing after the primary have made this declaration since 2010.
The Kansas Republican Party raised objections to Taylor’s withdrawal, which the party alleged was a plot by national Democrats. Kobach said he has not communicated with party officials on the matter.