Sen. Pat Roberts (R) secured the nomination to run for a fourth term Tuesday night, defeating physician and tea party challenger Milton Wolf (R). With 100% of precincts reporting:
Pat Roberts: 48%Milton Wolf: 41%D.J. Smith: 6%Alvin Zahnter: 5%(AP)
“The race might have gone a different direction had it not been for votes drawn by two political unknowns crowding the primary”¦Deeply conservative D.J. Smith drew 6 percent, and the somewhat libertarian Alvin Zahnter pulled 5 percent. Had their anti-establishment support gone Wolf’s way, he might have pulled off the upset.”
In his victory speech, Roberts thanked his campaign, noting their job hadn’t been easy thanks to some of his personal blunders. “My posse did not flinch,” he said. “Even though there were times when their candidate — me — stepped on our message.”
“Political oddsmakers consider Roberts a favorite to hold his seat.” While Democratic nominee Chad Taylor (D) “was unavailable for comment Tuesday night, [independent candidate Greg] Orman (I) was eager to start the general election.” (Ortman is not yet on the ballot, he awaits certification of the signatures he’s submitted.)
“Orman’s candidacy could be a complicating factor for both major party candidates. He’s raised significantly more money than Taylor and has already run TV ads in markets across the state. But pre-primary polling shows Orman pulling votes from Roberts as well as Taylor.” (Kansas City Star)
Chapman Rackaway, a professor of political science at Fort Hays State University, said “I don’t see Chad Taylor at this stage as a viable threat, but I certainly do see Orman, who’s got deep pockets, as someone who may make a run.”
“Roberts accused Orman of being a Democrat masquerading as an independent.” (Wichita Eagle)
DESSERT: Wolf said in an interview with ABC before the election that he thought his x-ray photo gaffe was likely helping him. “People”¦are coming up to us from the very first time the story broke,” Wolf said. [So this has helped you?] “I think it has.” (ABC)
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