Democrat Chad Taylor appears to be the only candidate in Kansas since 2010 who attempted to withdraw from the ballot post-primary without declaring he was incapable of serving if elected.


The Wichita Eagle obtained copies of documents from nine other candidates that have withdrawn from the ballot after winning their primaries since 2010, and each one reportedly included such a declaration, some with elaborate detail.

When Taylor submitted a letter asking to be removed from the ballot last week, however, he did not. It was the lack of that declaration that caused Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) to decide Taylor’s name would stay on the ballot this fall, a move that prompted a legal challenge from Taylor that will be heard by the Kansas Supreme Court this week.

Taylor’s attempt to drop out of the race was meant to open up a clearer path for independent Greg Orman to take on Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsMcConnell goes hands-off on coronavirus relief bill The Hill's Campaign Report: COVID-19 puts conventions in flux  The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the Air Line Pilots Association - Virus bill unlikely to pass this week MORE (R-Kan.), who has emerged as this cycle’s most surprisingly vulnerable incumbent. Polling has shown Orman more competitive against Roberts than Taylor, and his chances would have improved with Taylor out of the race.

But Kansas election law states that “any person who has been nominated by any means for any national, state, county or township office who declares that they are incapable of fulfilling the duties of office if elected may cause such person’s name to be withdrawn from nomination by a request in writing.” Kobach denied Taylor’s request to withdraw from the ballot because, he said, Taylor didn’t meet that requirement.

“I, Chadwick J. Taylor, Democratic nominee for the United States Senate race, do hereby withdraw my nomination for election effective immediately and request my name withdrawn from the ballot, pursuant to KSA-25-306b(b),” Taylor wrote in the Sept. 3 letter he submitted to the secretary of State's office.

He’s declared, however, in a sworn affadavit that a state elections official told him the letter was sufficient to get him off the ballot, something the official has denied in his own affadavit.

The state Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Tuesday to decide whether Taylor must remain on the ballot.