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Kansas Court Rules Dem's Name Must Come Off Senate Ballot

Usually, a political foe’s withdrawal would be cause for a candidate to celebrate. But in this case, it could be bad news for the Republican.
Image: Lawton R. Nuss
Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Lawton R. Nuss asks questions during a hearing of a petition brought by former Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Chad Taylor against Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach seeking removal of Taylor's name from the ballot Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, in Topeka, Kan. Taylor's attempt to remove his name from the ballot has been disputed by Kobach, a Republican, who backs incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts. Taylor's withdrawal from the race potentially improves the chances of independent candidate Greg Orman defeating Roberts.(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)Charlie Riedel / AP

The Kansas Supreme Court has ordered the state to comply with a Democratic Senate candidate’s request that his name be removed from the November ballot.

Usually, a political foe’s withdrawal from a race would be cause for a candidate to celebrate. But in this case, Republican Sen. Pat Roberts could now face a tougher general election against an independent – without a Democrat to split the opposition’s vote.

A recent FOX News poll showed Roberts trailing independent Greg Orman in a head-to-head matchup, 42 percent to 48 percent. Orman has not said which party he will caucus with if he wins.

Democrat Chad Taylor announced on September 3 that he was withdrawing from the race, and he submitted a letter to the Secretary of State’s office requesting to be removed from the ballot.

Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach argued that Taylor should remain on the ballot, saying the Democrat had failed to comply with a statue requiring him to demonstrate that he is incapable of serving.

The Kansas court did not agree with Kobach, writing that Taylor’s letter “fully complies with the statue.”

- Carrie Dann