Court Says Kansas Democrats Don't Need Senate Nominee

Image: Kris Kobach
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach listens to arguments before the Kansas Supreme Court in a petition by Democrat Chad Taylor to remove his name from the ballot after he withdrew from the U.S. Senate race Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, in Topeka, Kan. Kobach, a Republican, ruled that Taylor's name must remain on the ballot because he didn't comply with state election law. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)Charlie Riedel / AP

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A Kansas court has ruled that Democrats can go without a U.S. Senate candidate after their nominee dropped out of the race against three-term Republican Sen. Pat Roberts.

The ruling Wednesday is a blow to the GOP in a key race in the national battle over Senate control. A panel of three Shawnee County District Court judges said a state election law does not require Democrats to fill the candidate vacancy. The judges also said the disgruntled who filed a lawsuit to force Democrats to act didn't prove his case because he failed to show up for a Monday hearing. Some Democrats pushed their nominee out of the race because they saw independent candidate Greg Orman as the stronger rival for Roberts and didn't want to split the anti-Roberts vote.

- Associated Press