By Mike Lillis
Sen. Pat Roberts is under fire from his Tea Party challenger after it emerged that the Kansas Republican no longer lives in the state.
Milton Wolf, a conservative radiologist who has long-charged that Roberts is a creature of Washington, pounced on the three-term senator after the New York Times reported Friday that he has no home of his own in Kansas.
“In one of the most arrogant political displays in Kansas history, Pat Roberts now admits that his tenuous claim of ‘residency’ in Kansas is tethered to a recliner at a donor’s house on a golf course,” Wolf said Saturday in a statement. “But that’s only a symptom of a much broader problem. Pat Roberts has been in Washington for 47 years, and since that time, he’s lost his way.”
Roberts has an enormous financial advantage heading into this year's primary contest with Wolf. Still, Roberts' office is treading carefully around the residency issue, wary that other Republicans – notably former Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) – have been toppled by conservative primary opponents who made it a primary focus of the campaign.
“Nobody knows the state better than I do,” Roberts told the Times.
A Roberts aide clarified Friday that the senator has owned a home in Dodge City since 1992, though he rents it out and doesn't claim it as his voter registration address. That designation goes to the Duane-Ross Dodge City home, where Roberts rents the option to crash at $300 per month.
Ross, however, told the Times he couldn't remember the last time Roberts stayed there – a remark that was not overlooked by Wolf.
"Kansans deserve a senator who is actually a Kansan and will never forget where he's from," Wolf said.