The Buzz

May 29, 2014

New report: Roberts spent fewer than 100 days in Kansas over 2 years

USA Today review of Senate records could reignite residency debate as Roberts seeks a fourth Senate term this year

The Buzz

The facts, faces and hum of local politics with Steve Kraske and Dave Helling

A review of Senate records by USA Today showed that Sen. Pat Roberts spent fewer than 100 days in Kansas, the state he represents, in 2011-2013.

From the story:

“Roberts spent official funds to travel to Kansas 26 times over the course of two years, spending a total of 97 days in the state between July 2011 and August 2013, according to Senate spending records.”

Just last week, the Kansas Objections Board determined that Roberts is a legal state resident. The board rejected a complaint by GOP primary challenger Milton Wolf who has repeatedly alleged in his upstart primary campaign against Roberts that the senator lives in Alexandria, Va.

Wolf used the USA Today report to once again pounce on Roberts.

“After 47 years in Washington, it's clear that Kansas is a distant memory for Pat Roberts,” Wolf said. “How else do you explain Roberts wanting to spend his time anywhere but Kansas?”

So far, Wolf’s complaints don’t appear to have dented Roberts’ political armor. But Jennifer Duffy, a Cook Political Report analyst, compared Roberts’ situation with that of former Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar.

Lugar was defeated in a 2012 primary after his challenger focused on Lugar’s residency.

“Lugar owned property in the state but he rented it out and stayed in hotels,” Duffy said. “That's what pissed voters off. Pat Roberts might have the same problem.”

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