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Kansas Senator Admits He Doesn't Have a Home in Kansas

<p>For an longtime Kansas Republican in trouble, there's no place like home.</p>
Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts, lower left, and Gov. Sam Brownback, lower right, participate in an anti-abortion rally outside the Kansas Statehouse, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, in Topeka, Kan. Between them is state Sen. Mary Pilcher-Cook, chairwoman of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee. (AP Photo/John Hanna)AP

For an longtime Kansas Republican in trouble, there's no place like home.

Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., is facing a Tea Party primary challenge to his reelection this year from Dr. Milton Wolf -- a distant cousin of President Barack Obama.

Roberts was first elected to Congress in 1980, and was elected to the Senate in 1996. Now, though, the New York Times reports he's struggling to renew ties to the state as he battles to keep his job.

Roberts doesn't live in Kansas; instead, when he's there, he stays at the country club home of Phyllis and Cecil Ross, who have donated to his campaigns in the past. He lists their address on his voter registration.

The Times quotes Roberts as joking: "I have full access to the recliner."

Roberts does own property in Dodge City, Kan., and pays property taxes on it -- but he rents it out to tenants. He and his wife live in Alexandria, Va.

"He owns a residence in Dodge City, Kansas, that currently has tenants so he also rents a place to stay in Dodge City, Kansas, when he travels there," spokeswoman Sarah Little said Friday.

Little confirmed that Roberts pays rent from the donor couple, who own a home on Club View Drive in Dodge City.

Of the Times' piece, she said: "The story is misleading and ridiculous."

In a separate memo to media, Little called the New York Times report a "hit piece."

"The story is so slanted and so far from the truth that Kansans will not take it seriously," she said. "They know better."