As we predicted after Tuesday’s hearing, the Kansas Supreme Court ordered that the name of Shawnee County District Attorney, Chad Taylor, be removed from the ballot as the Democrat contender for U.S. Senate.
It remains unsettled whether the final ballot for the Kansas U.S. Senate seat will include a Democrat because Secretary of State, Kris Kobach, asserts that the state Democrat Party is legally obligated to submit a replacement candidate for Taylor. At a press conference Thursday, Kobach announced the new Democrat name must be received by noon, Sept. 26.
UPDATE, 5pm, Fri. Sept.19: The AP now reports that Kobach’s office sent a directive to county officials, telling them to move ahead with mailing the ballots without having a Democrat nominee listed for the U.S. Senate race.
Taylor had filed at the last possible hour to remove his name (see more here) and has not yet commented on the reason he withdrew. The Kansas law on this matter was supposedly strengthened to prevent such late withdrawals of candidates for purely partisan calculations that disenfranchise those who voted in the primary.
The state Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling late Thursday remained very narrow and focused, declaring that Taylor’s official request to remove his name “pursuant to” the statute was acceptable, without a declaration of his “incapability to serve.”
Kobach told Bloomberg News he was disappointed:
“The court’s decision essentially nullifies what the legislature did in 1997 when they inserted 14 words into the law to require a candidate declare that he is incapable of fulfilling the duties of office.”
Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator, Pat Roberts, is the only pro-life candidate for that office. He commented about the ruling, “This is not only a travesty to Kansas voters, but it’s a travesty to the judicial system and our electoral process.”
Pundits point out that elimination of a Democrat nominee will benefit lately-entered “independent” candidate, Greg Orman. Multi-millionnaire Orman has already spent over $900,000.00 on TV commercials.
The state Supreme Court did not rule Thursday on the legal duty to supply a Democrat substitute for Taylor, but a motion for the Court to address this issue has now been filed by a disgruntled Democrat.