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2014 Watch

Kansas Sec. of State says Democrat's name must stay on ballot for Senate race

Yet another twist has emerged in the suddenly quite dramatic Kansas Senate race.

Yesterday, Democratic nominee Chad Taylor dropped out of the race, filing a notice for his name to be taken off the ballot — a move that could potentially strengthen independent candidate Greg Orman in his race against Republican Sen. Pat Roberts.

However, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) announced Thursday afternoon that Taylor's name must stay on the ballot anyway.

Kansas law means "we now have no choice" but to put Taylor's name on the ballot, he told reporters at an afternoon news conference. "The law is the law." Kobach cited a Kansas statute which requires a withdrawing candidate to declare he or she is "incapable" of serving if elected. Taylor's letter, he said, did not contain that language. Rather, Taylor simply referenced the state law in his letter. [The Kansas City Star]

Kobach's decision could potentially be challenged in court. [UPDATE: Taylor confirmed on Thursday that he will challenge Kobach's ruling.] Also, Taylor has said in a statement that he specifically consulted with the Director of Elections at the secretary of state's office, and was told that the notice he was filing was sufficient to have his name taken off the ballot. He also made his status as a candidate quite clear: "My candidacy in this race terminated yesterday."