Midwest Voices

Aimee Patton: Why Chad Taylor really wants out of Kansas' U.S. Senate race

If you love political drama as much as I do, I hope you are tuning into the race for the Senate in Kansas.

The two words to sum it up best are “hot” and “mess.” The race is essentially between three people — Pat Roberts, the longtime incumbent Republican; Greg Orman, the Independent; and Chad Taylor, the Democrat.

Roberts, who had a difficult primary against Milton, “I’m-related-to-President-Obama,” Wolf now finds himself in an equally difficult race against Orman. The drama in this race really ramped into overdrive a few weeks ago when somebody let Chad Taylor in on a little secret that he didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning as a Democrat in this race for Senate, so he decided to suddenly exit stage left from the campaign.

Taylor never officially provided a reason for his withdrawal, but he did submit his withdrawal papers by the official deadline, leaving essentially a two-man race between Roberts and Orman. Enter into this drama Kris Kobach, Kansas secretary of state, who threw up a huge political roadblock to Taylor’s plan to withdraw.

Kobach said Taylor could not officially be removed from the ballot because of a 1997 statute, stating that a candidate must declare why he or she is incapable of serving in office if removed from the ballot. It turns out that Taylor submitted his letter by the deadline, but didn’t include a reason for terminating his campaign.

Oh those little pesky details.

On one hand you have Taylor bowing out of the race to throw support behind Orman and potentially upset Robert. On the other hand, you have Kobach stepping in to single-handedly save the election for Roberts based on a technicality.

That sounds like an episode straight out of the Netflix political drama series the “House of Cards.” In this drama, I’m declaring myself Team Taylor. Nothing seems more undemocratic to me than forcing someone to run for office when the person doesn’t want to run, no matter what the motivation.

Given that I’ve never been one to pass on getting involved in a good drama I’m going to declare myself an unofficial spokesperson for the Taylor campaign and offer my top 10 reasons why Chad Taylor needs to come off the Senate ballot. Kobach should feel free to pick any one of these reasons and apply it to Taylor’s official withdrawal letter. (Insert drum roll)

As unofficial spokesperson for the Taylor campaign, here are the top 10 reasons Taylor is withdrawing from the Senate race in Kansas:

10. Washington, D.C., traffic — Who wants to give up the easy Kansas commute for a bumper-to-bumper beltway mess?

9. Six years seems like an eternity.

8. Committee meetings — lots and lots of boring committee meetings.

7. That whole when to give a standing ovation during the State of the Union has me stressed out.

6. Senate filibusters — enough said.

5. D.C. barbecue isn’t even close to KC barbecue.

4. Posing for pictures gets really old.

3. I hate wearing suits.

2. Not enough direct flights from Kansas City to Washington, D.C.

1. I’m a Democrat running for Senate in Kansas — like I ever really had a chance.

Chad Taylor is challenging Kobach’s ruling and apparently continues to push to have his name removed from the ballot even if my silly excuses don’t hold up. Whether you are Team Kobach or Team Taylor, you can’t deny that this show is equal parts entertaining and embarrassing to watch and has the nation continuing to ask, “What’s the matter with Kansas?”

Aimee Patton of Fairway works in marketing. Reach her at oped@kcstar.com.

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