Pyle worried about urgency of petition status to run for Gov.

FILE - Dennis Pyle
FILE - Dennis Pyle(PyleForKansas.com)
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 9:52 AM CDT
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HIAWATHA, Kan. (WIBW) - Senator Dennis Pyle is worried the Secretary of State’s Office is not treating his independent candidate petition with the same urgency as was shown to Greg Orman’s in 2018.

State Senator Dennis Pyle (I-Hiawatha) says on Wednesday, Aug. 17, that he is concerned his petition to gain access to the ballot for the gubernatorial race in November has not been dealt with in the same manner as the last independent candidate’s petition in 2018.

“I certainly hope we are not seeing the Secretary of State applying a double standard,” Pyle said. “It is very clear they are not following the same application of law which is evidenced by the comparison of the difference in the timeline between the Pyle petition and the 2018 Orman petition.”

According to the timeline comparison from the Secretary of State’s Office, Pyle said Greg Orman received notice of certification 11 days after he submitted his petition.

Pyle said he submitted his petition on Aug. 1 and has yet to receive certification. He said the Secretary of State’s Office told him on Tuesday that state law does not require an independent petition to be verified by Aug. 16.

“We have already seen the dubious actions taken by the establishment GOP leadership to remove names from the petition, I hope we are not seeing insider collaboration by the Secretary of State’s office based upon party loyalty oaths,” Pyle noted.

If admitted to the race, Pyle would run as an independent candidate and would face Republican Attorney General Derek Schmidt and incumbent Democrat Governor Laura Kelly on the November ballot.

The Kansas Legislature website also indicates that Pyle currently identifies as an Independent, however, in the previous legislative session, he identified as a Republican.

The Kansas Secretary of State’s Office responded and said the statutes that govern independent candidate nominating petitions, like Senator Pyle’s, do not prescribe a time period in which the Secretary of State must determine the validity of the petition. 

“This makes pragmatic sense since the deadline for submitting the petition is the day before the primary election, and county election offices will spend the two to three weeks following the primary election on audits, county canvasses, and recounts before they can fully turn their staff resources to petition signature verification.  Unlike in 2018 when the Orman/Doll petition was submitted, in 2022 there are post-election audits in every county, close election audits in every county for the GOP Treasurer race, and 24 counties conducting hand recounts.”

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