KS Supreme Court orders state to remove Democrat's name from bal - KCTV5 News

KS Supreme Court orders state to remove Democrat's name from ballot in Senate race

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TOPEKA, KS (KCTV/AP) -

The Kansas Supreme Court has ordered the state to remove U.S. Senate Democratic nominee Chad Taylor's name from the ballot, in a ruling that could influence the national fight for control of the Senate.

The court's decision Thursday leaves Democrats without a nominee, potentially making it easier for independent candidate Greg Orman to defeat three-term Republican incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts. The GOP has counted on Roberts winning re-election on Nov. 4 as they seek to recapture a Senate majority.

Taylor withdrew from the race to avoid a split of anti-Roberts votes. But Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who backs Roberts, declared that Taylor didn't fully comply with a state election law in submitting his letter of withdrawal.

Many political parties responded to the decision.

Joan Wagnon, Kansas Democratic Party Chair, wrote in a statement:

"I applaud the Kansas Supreme Court decision to follow the law and stop Kris Kobach from undermining Kansas democracy. Kris Kobach has proven he cannot be trusted to fairly enforce the law. So long as Kris Kobach is Kansas Secretary of State, democracy is threatened."

"Basic fairness is a bedrock Kansas value - all Kansans want is a fair shot. Kris Kobach does not believe in fair play and will continue to break the rules to push his extreme agenda. Just like Phill Kline, Kris Kobach continues to put his partisan political agenda before the law, weakening people's faith in our democracy."

Jean Schodorf, who is running for Kansas Secretary of State, wrote:

"After countless hours of time, and at an unreported cost to the Kansas taxpayers, the circus created by Mr. Kobach has been decided by the Kansas Supreme Court. This decision was issued swiftly and justly, but the fact remains that if Kris Kobach was at his post working for the people of Kansas, this legal contest never would have happened," said Schodorf. "Instead, Mr. Kobach was away from his duties. He was not present to work with Mr. Taylor, and his absence led to a situation where time, money, and respect were lost."

"Mr. Kobach runs the Office of the Secretary of State like a laboratory for legal experimentation. While this may be interesting for Mr. Kobach, it is an embarrassment for most of us. We cannot afford a secretary of state who would rather work in a courtroom, leading Kansas into an endless string of lawsuits. We want someone who is in the office doing the job full-time. We want someone who will help people to comply with the law instead of using them as an opportunity to end up in a courtroom. We want someone who will work for the people of Kansas, not against us," continued Schodorf."

"Kris Kobach attempted to control this situation single-handedly so that it would work for his personal agenda. He unilaterally bypassed the standard practice of allowing the challenge of a contested election issue to be reviewed by the several members of the State Elections Board so that he alone could rule on what is legal and what is not. He manipulated the system, and mandated a major election in Kansas run according to his partisan whims."

"Kansans have recent memories of elected officials disregarding the process of government. We have seen what happens when politicians twist and distort their power to promote their own private agendas. Kansas did not tolerate such abuses from Phill Kline and his cronies, and they should not have to endure it under Kris Kobach. Mr. Kline and Mr. Kobach's methods are the same, they hired the same deputy, their desire to ensnare Kansas into endless lawsuits are the same, their dereliction of duties are the same, and their outcomes are the same. It is time to end this constant embarrassment for Kansas, and restore common sense leadership to Topeka."

Jim Jonas, the campaign manager for Greg Orman, released the following statement:

"No matter who's on or off the ballot, Greg Orman is running as an Independent against the broken system in Washington that has failed Kansas and failed America. Kansas voters from across the political spectrum are fed up with the mess in Washington, and that's why Republicans, Democrats and Independents are supporting Independent Greg Orman for Senate."

Kansas Republican Party Chair Kelly Arnold released a statement, saying a corrupt bargain was allowed the stand:

"It is a sad day for Kansans when the state Supreme Court uses tortured reasoning to conclude that Chad Taylor, the candidate elected by a majority of the Kansas democrats, could come off the ballot - with no explanation whatsoever."

"It is depressing to see the state Supreme Court condone political gamesmanship and a national power play to deceive and disenfranchise Kansas voters."

"The people of Kansas deserve to know the corrupt bargain behind this deal. Discussions with Missouri Democrat Clair McCaskill followed by Harry Reid and Barrack Obama's personal political attorney representing Taylor are enough to prove the corrupt Democrat bosses controlled this decision and the local Democrats lacked the courage to fight back."

"It is pathetic that the Kansas Democrats are celebrating that their own candidate, elected by their own voters, quit. If Taylor had worked half as hard as a candidate as he did to get off the ballot, he might have had a chance."

"Taylor has now admitted he is unfit to serve in any elected capacity and we await his prompt resignation as Shawnee County District Attorney. That is quite a sacrifice to carry the rest of his life. We hope the liberal political bosses are satisfied and wonder what they promised Taylor as a reward for being a good little Kansas democrat and quitting."

"We salute Secretary of State Kris Koabach's courageous stand for the rule of law and look forward to learning who the Kansas Democrats pick to be their new US Senate candidate."

Click here to read the supreme court's decision.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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