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Kansas Board Rejects Challenge To Roberts Candidacy

A state panel has rejected an effort to block Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts from running for re-election.

The State Objections Board ruled 3-0 against a group of Kansans arguing that Roberts doesn't really live in the state. The decision sets the stage for Roberts to face challenger Milton Wolf in the August Republican primary.

Chuck Henderson, a Milton Wolf supporter from Manhattan, filed one of the objections. He believes Roberts shouldn't be eligible to run again because he actually lives in a home in Virginia.

"Regardless or your choice of terms, residency, inhabitance, Senator Roberts has been perpetrating a sham on the citizens of Kansas who have trusted him all these years," says Henderson.

An attorney representing Roberts, Michael Kuckelman, says Roberts meets the requirements to run for Senate spelled out in the U.S. Constitution and the state can't add any more stipulations. Kuckelman says Roberts rents a room in Dodge City and owns the home in Virginia to be closer to the U.S. Senate.

"I would expect any senator from Kansas to have a place to live and to stay and a residence in that area. It's not unusual, there are many Kansans, probably some in this room, that have more than one residence," says Kuckelman.

Kuckelman says Roberts pays taxes and votes in Kansas. All three members of the Objections Board — the secretary of state, attorney general and lieutenant governor — had previously endorsed Roberts. All three did not actually appear at the hearing, and instead sent representatives on their behalf.

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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