National G.O.P. Moves to Take Over Campaign of Kansas Senator

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from The New York Times,

National Republicans on Thursday moved to take control of the campaign of Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas by sending a longtime party strategist to the state to advise him, a day after his hopes for re-election and those of his party for taking control of the Senate were threatened by the attempted withdrawal of the Democrat in the race.

Also on Thursday, the Kansas secretary of state, Kris Kobach, ruled that the Democratic nominee, Chad Taylor, could not withdraw his name from the ballot, a move likely to set off further legal challenges in the race.

Greg Orman

Greg Orman, who is running for Mr. Roberts’s seat as an independent, in Topeka, Kan., on Wednesday. Mr. Orman’s consultants are Democrats, but he has been embraced by a group of disaffected moderate Republicans in the state.

Mr. Taylor’s attempt to drop out of the race elevated Greg Orman whose television ads have been on the Kansas airwaves since July. With a Libertarian, Randall Batson, who may take votes from the right, also on the ballot, Mr. Roberts could be in jeopardy after having been thought to be a relatively safe incumbent.

Further, Republicans’ expectations nationally that they would have to defend just two seats, in Kentucky and Georgia, in a year that finds them targeting as many as a dozen Democratic-controlled seats, have suddenly been scuttled. With many of the most competitive Senate races still effectively tied two months before the election, surprises in places like Kansas could prove crucial in determining whether Republicans take the six seats they need to win a Senate majority.

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