Incumbent GOP Sen. Roberts Beats Tea Party Challenger Wolf

Image: Sam Brownback, Pat Roberts
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, left, and U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts greet each other at a Johnson County Republican's election watch party Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014, in Overland Park, Kan. Roberts beat back a tea party challenger during the GOP primary Tuesday.Charlie Riedel / AP

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Incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts was able to ward off attacks against his commitment to Kansas and defeat tea party challenger Milton Wolf in the state’s Republican Senate primary on Tuesday.

The Associated Press called the race for Roberts, who was able to fight back against the momentum Wolf’s campaign gained by highlighting how little time Roberts spent in Kansas. The three-term incumbent lists a rented space in a supporters home as his official Kansas residence but lives in northern Virginia.

But Wolf, a distant cousin of President Barack Obama, was unable to overcome his own stumbles, most notably X-ray images the radiologist posted on Facebook with jokes about his patients injuries.

Wolf’s loss marks another blow for the tea party, which this year has failed to unseat establishment Republicans in the Senate. Two House GOP incumbents, including former Majority Leader Eric Cantor, fell to tea party challengers earlier this year.


— Andrew Rafferty