The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

By Lisa Mascaro, Tribune Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — The topsy-turvy race for the Senate in Kansas took another turn Wednesday when the lackluster Democratic candidate dropped out, elevating an independent newcomer to battle incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Roberts this fall.

The sudden narrowing of what had been a three-way race could give Democrats a rare pickup opportunity in conservative Kansas during an election cycle that favors Republicans. The GOP is increasingly favored to net six seats to gain control of the Senate.

“There’s obviously an opportunity here,” said a Democratic strategist, who asked for anonymity to frankly discuss the situation. “Roberts is clearly very vulnerable.”

Democrat Chad Taylor, a two-term district attorney from the county that includes Topeka, had run a lackluster campaign with little funding and less backing from national Democrats.

“Thanks to our supporters — financial, spiritual, and emotional,” Taylor said in a Twitter message late Wednesday.

His decision to step aside opens the race to Greg Orman, a management consultant. As a young man, Orman was a fan of H. Ross Perot, who ran a strong presidential campaign as an independent in 1992, but more recently he talked with Kansas Democrats about making a run against Roberts in 2007. He has spent some of his own money on the campaign.

The move in Kansas represents the second time this week that a Democrat in a three-person race has deferred to an independent candidate to try to unseat a Republican incumbent.

Tuesday in Alaska, Democrat Byron Mallott agreed to drop his campaign and run for lieutenant governor on a ticket with Bill Walker, an independent. The two agreed that joining forces was the only way to defeat Republican Gov. Sean Parnell, Mallott said. “I could see no way forward to win in a three-way race,” he said.

Seeking a fourth term in Kansas, Roberts has struggled against criticism that he has become out of touch with voters, particularly after it was reported that he no longer owns a home in the state, but rents a room from a supporter.

Roberts last month fended off a primary challenge from Milton Wolf, a doctor and tea party-backed conservative, who had his own troubles after it was disclosed that he posted X-ray photos to his Facebook page.

Roberts’ campaign manager, Leroy Towns, called Taylor’s withdrawal from the race a “corrupt bargain” with national Democrats to push Orman, who he said is not an independent, but “a liberal Democrat by experience and by philosophy.”

Democrats nationally have not supported any candidate in the race.

Staff writer David Lauter contributed to this report.

Photo via WikiCommons

Interested in U.S. politics? Sign up for our daily email newsletter!


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Donald Trump

Image via Twitter

A year after former President Donald Trump left the White House and Joe Biden was sworn in as president of the United States, Trump continues to have considerable influence in the Republican Party. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a former Trump critic turned Trump sycophant, recently told Fox News that having a “working relationship” with Trump must be a litmus test for anyone in a GOP leadership role in Congress. But an NBC News poll, conducted in January 14-18, 2022, finds that many Republican voters identify as Republicans first and Trump supporters second.

Analyzing that poll in the New York Times on January 21, reporters Leah Askarinam and Blake Hounshell, explain, “Buried in a new survey published today is a fascinating nugget that suggests the Republican Party may not be as devoted to Trump as we’ve long assumed. Roughly every month for the last several years, pollsters for NBC News have asked: ‘Do you consider yourself to be more of a supporter of Donald Trump or more of a supporter of the Republican Party?’ Over most of that time, Republicans have replied that they saw themselves as Trump supporters first.”

Keep reading... Show less

Ivanka Trump, right

Image via @Huffington Post

As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s select committee on the January 6, 2021 insurrection moves along, it is examining Ivanka Trump’s actions that day — especially the former White House senior adviser urging her father, then- President Donald Trump, to call off his supporters when the U.S. Capitol Building was under attack. This week, Ivanka Trump’s importance to the committee is examined in a column by liberal Washington Post opinion writer Greg Sargent and an article by blogger Marcy Wheeler.

Sargent notes that the committee’s “new focus on Ivanka Trump” shows that it “is developing an unexpectedly comprehensive picture of how inextricably linked the violence was to a genuine plot to thwart a legitimately elected government from taking power.”

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}