Pat Roberts turns back challenge from Greg Orman for US Senate - KCTV5

Campaign 2017 | Election Returns
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Pat Roberts turns back challenge from Greg Orman for US Senate

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Republican Sen. Pat Roberts was looking to continue his party's good fortunes Tuesday against a surprisingly staunch challenge from independent candidate Greg Orman. He came out on top with 53% of the votes. Republican Sen. Pat Roberts was looking to continue his party's good fortunes Tuesday against a surprisingly staunch challenge from independent candidate Greg Orman. He came out on top with 53% of the votes.
OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV/AP) -

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts has won a tough contest against independent Greg Orman and will return to Washington for another six years.

Roberts won with 53 percent of the votes while Orman got 43 percent and Libertarian Randall Batson got 4 percent.

"We did it Kansas! You did it." Roberts said when speaking to his supporters after announcing his win. "We said for months that the road to a Republican majority in the United States Senate led through Kansas, and we did it. I don't think there's any question that the eyes of the nation were on Kansas and hopefully still are on Kansas today. The country was counting on us to help deliver a Republican majority to the Senate, and we delivered."

Roberts went on to thank voters, who he said he now calls friends, and his family.

"Tonight Kansas stood up and said ‘enough!'. Enough of the gridlock, enough of the failed leadership under President Obama and, yes, Harry Reid, and enough of the unconstitutional maneuvers of an intrusive federal government," he said. "Tonight we stood together, we made a stand for Kansas, we made a stand for America, for our values, our families, our children and their future."

Orman said he called Roberts to congratulate him on his victory.

"The senator knows very clearly that Kansas is deeply a part of my future and his future and asked to actually be able to work together. And I told him that I would enjoy that opportunity, and he couldn't have been more gracious," Orman said to supporters at his watch party.

Even though Orman lost, he told supporters that Kansas sent a strong message to Washington – that politicians need to get things done and not hide behind party labels.

"I have to also say, while Sen. Roberts won tonight, we didn't lose. We not only ran against Sen. Roberts, we ran against the whole Washington establishment," he said.

Orman said he hopes his campaign could inspire other independents to run.

Kansas voters aren't exactly known for an independent streak. Not since 1932 have they elected someone other than a Republican to the U.S. Senate.

CBS made its decision based on polling results. CNN and AP later followed suit.

As Republicans swept Senate seat after Senate seat, Roberts faced a surprisingly staunch challenge from Orman.

Roberts has described his re-election campaign as crucial to Republican hopes of regaining the Senate and providing a check to the policies of Democratic President Barack Obama. He's tried to portray Orman as a liberal Democrat.

Orman has described Roberts as part of a broken partisan system that has ground Washington to a halt. He vowed to bridge political divides and has emphasized his business expertise.

Orman, a suburban Kansas City businessman, became the main alternative to Roberts after Democratic nominee Chad Taylor dropped out in September. Roberts spends most of the year living in Virginia, and his residency in Kansas has been an issue.

Roberts was hoping that Kansas' deep Republican roots would hold firm as he sought a fourth Senate term. Orman was hoping that voters would respond to his pledge to bring a nonpartisan voice to Washington.

Orman has cast Roberts as part of a broken partisan system.

Supporters of Roberts seized on a comment made by Vice President Joe Biden during an interview with a Connecticut radio station on Tuesday. As he talked about the Senate races, Biden indicated that Orman would caucus with Democrats if he were elected.

"We have a chance of picking up, you know, an independent who will be with us in the state of Kansas," the vice president said.

Instead, Biden and Obama will have to contend again with a staunch conservative.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) and Associated Press. All rights reserved
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