Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Taylor Withdraws from Senate Race ; but Questions Emerge regarding Validity of Affidavit

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Taylor Withdraws from Senate Race ; but Questions Emerge regarding Validity of Affidavit

Article excerpt

Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor formally withdrew Wednesday as the Democratic Party's nominee for U.S. Senate, leaving incumbent Pat Roberts and independent Greg Orman as the top contenders.

Taylor's challenges were compounded by modest fundraising and a weak performance in the August primary. He was under pressure from Kansas and national Democratic officials to step aside and improve prospects that the better-financed Orman might defeat Roberts.

In a social media statement on Twitter, Taylor said: "Thanks to our supporters -- financial, spiritual and emotional."

Kay Curtis, spokeswoman for the Kansas Secretary of State's Office, confirmed Taylor submitted a document declaring he wouldn't be on the ballot in November. He delivered the affidavit on the final day a person could request to be pulled from the Kansas ballot.

"Yes," she said, "he did this afternoon."

The affidavit, on Taylor's campaign letterhead, said he would "hereby withdraw my nomination for election effective immediately and request my name be withdrawn from the ballot."

Staff in Secretary of State Kris Kobach's office indicated Wednesday night that Taylor's name would be retained on the candidate list until legal issues related to his withdrawal could be studied. Apparently, there is uncertainty that Taylor's affidavit met requirements of state law to renounce a nomination. Another question centers on whether the Kansas Democratic Party must select a replacement or leave the ballot blank.

Brandon Naylor, spokesman for Taylor, said there should be no misunderstanding of Taylor's intention.

"He's out," Naylor said. "That's our last word on the campaign."

If Taylor's request to withdraw stands, the race appears to reside with Roberts, Orman and little-known Libertarian Randall Batson.

Leroy Towns, spokesman for the Roberts campaign, said Taylor's departure revealed "a corrupt bargain" between Orman and national Democrats that worked to disenfranchise Kansas Democrats. …

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