State Panel Rejects Challenge to Roberts Candidacy For Re-Election

May 13, 2014

Two of the panel's members, Eric Rucker, representing Secretary of State Kris Kobach (right) and Brant Laue representing Lieutenant Governor Jeff Colyer.
Credit Stephen Koranda

A state panel has rejected an effort to block Kansas Senator 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. It 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.

All three members of the Objections Board -the secretary of state, attorney general and lieutenant governor- had previously endorsed Roberts. All three didn't appear at the hearing and instead sent representatives on their behalf.