TOPEKA, Kan., Sept. 19 (UPI) -- Kansas' top court ruled in favor of Democratic Senate candidate Chad Taylor's effort to have his name removed from November's ballot.
The state's Supreme Court issued its unanimous ruling Thursday, ahead of a Friday deadline for changes so ballots can be printed and mailed to military personnel overseas.
In its 10-page ruling, the court ruled Taylor met the state's requirements to be removed from the ballot when he ended his campaign for Senate.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a Republican, had said Taylor's name must appear on the ballot because he failed to meet state election law requiring he prove he was incapable of fulfilling the office he sought.
Taylor abruptly dropped out of the three-way Senate race on Sept. 3, effectively clearing the way for independent Greg Orman to take on incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas. Orman was leading in some polls at the time, and has strengthened his position since Taylor announced his withdrawal from the race.
Roberts' campaign blasted the decision, accusing the court of "deliberately, and for political purposes disenfranchis[ing] over 65,000 voters." And the Kansas Republican Party said if Taylor is incapable of serving in the Senate, then he should also be found incapable of serving in his current role as Shawnee County district attorney.
Kobach said Thursday he would require Democrats to choose another candidate, a move Democrats say they will not take unless required to do so by court order. Kobach said federal law would allow him to delay mailing overseas ballots, so long as the ballots had a 45-day window in which to be counted.
Orman, who considered a run against Roberts in 2008 as a Democrat, has said he will caucus with whichever party holds the majority in the Senate.
"No matter who's on or off the ballot, Greg Orman is running as an independent against the broken system in Washington that has failed Kansas and failed America," Orman's campaign manager Jim Jonas said.