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Kansas Board To Rule On Roberts Challenge

A state panel will meet Monday to decide if Republican Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts is eligible to appear on the primary election ballot.

Four Kansans have filed claims challenging his candidacy by saying he may not meet the residency requirement. 

The State Objections Board, made up of the Kansas secretary of state, lieutenant governor and state attorney general, makes decisions in these situations. All three of them have endorsed Roberts.

The complaints ask if Roberts really lives in Virginia, where he owns a home. Secretary of State Kris Kobach says each side will get a chance to make their case and then the board will issue a decision.

Kobach says in general, the residency requirements for public offices under federal and state law are pretty broad.

"It doesn't say, for example, that you have to own a house or that you have to have been there for a certain number of years. That broad definition in the past has made in relatively difficult for objectors to succeed," says Kobach.

Roberts' primary challenger, Milton Wolf, previously asked Kobach to block Roberts from running. Sen. Roberts' office says he rents a room in Dodge City in the home of a longtime supporter.

Roberts also owns a property in the area that he rents out. His office says he's registered to vote and pays taxes in Kansas.

As the Kansas News Service managing editor, I help our statewide team of reporters find the important issues and breaking news that impact people statewide. We refine our daily stories to illustrate the issues and events that affect the health, well-being and economic stability of the people of Kansas. Email me at skoranda@kcur.org.
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