Suit filed to force Dems to replace Taylor on Senate ballot

A registered Kansas Democrat - whose son is working for the re-election of Republican Governor Sam Brownback - has filed suit to force the Democratic party to name a replacement for former candidate Chad Taylor who resigned from the race last month and whose name is now off the ballot thanks to a Kansas Supreme Court decision.


David Orel, in a petition filed late Thursday and circulated by the court on Friday, asked the justices to compel Kansas Democrats to replace Taylor so he can vote for a candidate from his party. He said this is required by state law.

Orel's position is the same as that of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a Republican, who said on Thursday he was requiring Democrats to replace Taylor on the ballot by Sept. 26 and was considering legal options if they do not.

In ruling on Thursday that the state must remove Taylor from the ballot, the state Supreme Court sidestepped the question of whether Kansas law required Democrats to replace him.

Orel, who had filed a paper in support of Kobach in the case, said in court papers he is a registered Democrat who voted in the primary and intends to vote for a Democratic candidate in the general election.

Orel's son, Alexander Orel, is a field director for the re-election campaign of Republican Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, campaign spokesman John Milburn said.

Alexander Orel's job with Brownback had no bearing on his father's petition, said Thomas Haney, David Orel's lawyer.

Roberts has accused Democrats of conspiring with Orman, while Taylor has said Kobach's attempts to keep him on the ballot after his Sept. 3 withdrawal were politically motivated. Kobach denied politics played a part.

Kobach had ruled that Taylor did not properly withdraw from the election and could not be removed from the ballot. Taylor appealed that decision to the state's high court.

Representatives of the Kansas Democratic Party did not return calls for comment on Friday.

Unfortunately, this suit will probably not go anywhere. Secretary of State Kobach has already ordered absentee ballots be mailed to military personnel overseas with no Democratic name appearing on the form. It is not likely that the Supreme Court would rule that it would be OK for some ballots to contain a Democrat but not others.

Orman holds a 5 point lead over Roberts according to Rasmussen. Although Roberts is still in the race, time is running out for him to make a case why Kansas residents should re-elect a 78 year old Senator who rarely comes home.


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