The state of Kansas spent more than $34,000 on Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s failed effort to force Kansas Democrats to field a candidate in the race for U.S. Senate. Kobach called that amount very reasonable. The state paid Wichita-based Hinkle Law Firm to defend Kobach against a suit brought by Democrat Chad Taylor after Kobach ruled that Taylor would remain on the November ballot against his will. Kobach said Taylor had failed to properly comply with a statute by not explicitly declaring himself incapable to serve if elected. The Kansas Supreme Court rejected Kobach’s argument and ruled that Taylor’s name be struck from the ballot. Taylor’s absence has been a boon to independent Greg Orman in the tight race for a U.S. Senate seat. Taylor accused Kobach of trying to keep him on the ballot as a way to help Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts.
The state also retained Hinkle when it tried to intervene in a suit to force the Democratic Party to name a replacement candidate. The suit failed and Kobach’s motion to intervene in the case was thrown out by a Shawnee County District Court judge.
The state spent $34,627.57 on the two cases, according to records The Eagle obtained from the Attorney General’s Office through an open records request.
The state was billed at a rate of $295 an hour for the services of Bradley Schlozman, a lawyer who previously worked in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division while George W. Bush was president. It also reimbursed the firm almost $600 for travel expenses.