OK, it’s settled. It’s finally settled.
A panel of three Shawnee County District Court judges ruled Wednesday that Kansas Democrats are not required to field a candidate this fall against Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts. This comes as a boost for independent Greg Orman and a blow to the GOP’s hopes of capturing a majority in the Senate.
Kansas has the dubious honor of being considered by national political strategists from both major parties as being a battle ground state in the Republicans’ quest to capture the upper chamber. The contest puts Roberts in the toughest fight he’s seen in his 30-plus years Congress.
The judges ruled in a suit filed after Democratic candidate Chad Taylor dropped out of the race after winning the Aug. 5 primary — a development Republicans resisted. The judges also said the disgruntled voter who sued the state Democratic Party failed “to provide evidence to sustain it” by refusing to participate in the only hearing in the case Monday.
First, let’s rewind a bit. On Sept. 3, Taylor submitted a letter to Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach stating his intentions to withdraw. Kobach refused to remove Taylor’s name, an action that landed in the Kansas Supreme Court. On Sept. 18, the high court ruled in favor of Taylor, forcing the state to strike him from the ballot.
Enter David Orel. On the same day as the Supreme Court decision was issued, he sued. As a Democrat, he charged that it was his right to have a Democrat on the ballot for whom he could vote. Kobach filed a motion to intervene on Orel’s behalf.
However, come time for the Wednesday, Orel didn’t show up. And, the judges said Kobach had no legal standing to act on Orel’s behalf.
Without anyone to offer testimony and no real legal grounds for a suit in the first place, the panel dismissed the case.
Bottom line, later in the day Wednesday, Kobach gave the go-ahead to have the ballot information released to county election officers. There was an effort to expedite the proceedings to meet the ballot deadline.
No, the ruling won’t stop the endless barrage of negative campaign advertising bombarding us across all media platforms. No, it won’t put an end to the coffee shop and town hall meeting rhetoric.
But, it does mean that the stage is set for the Nov. 4 election.
Get over it everybody. Move on and stop all the petty political posturing.