Suit filed to force Democrats to appoint someone to Senate ballot

A new challenge to Kansas Democrats came from a lawsuit filed to try to force them to appoint someone to the Senate ballot.

A Kansas City, Kan., resident, David Orel, has filed with the Kansas Supreme Court to force the state Democratic Party to name a replacement for Chad Taylor, the U.S. Senate candidate who dropped out of the race.

Taylor was the Democratic candidate challenging incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Roberts. A third candidate in the contest is independent Greg Orman. The contest is considered important by some national analysts, and might possibly tip the balance of the Senate toward either Republicans or Democrats.

Orel is a Democrat whose son works for Gov. Sam Brownback’s campaign, according to news reports.

His petition to the court stated that the secretary of state’s office is close to the deadline for printing the ballots. His court document also says that Democrats have stated that they have “no intention of naming a replacement candidate unless they are directly ordered to do so by this court.”

The petition maintains that it is Kansas law that a replacement candidate must be appointed by the party.

The state Democratic Party office had no new comments on the issue today, except to refer to a statement posted online previously by party chair Joan Wagnon. Her statement applauded the court for ordering the secretary of state to take Taylor’s name off the ballot, but it did not discuss appointing another candidate to the position. “I applaud the Kansas Supreme Court decision to follow the law and stop Kris Kobach from undermining Kansas democracy,” Wagnon said in her statement.

The Supreme Court on Sept. 18 held that Taylor’s withdrawal letter met the requirements of the state law. It contained a reference to a statute, which was held to be within the requirements of the law. The court stated that the secretary of state had no discretion to refuse to remove Taylor’s name, and must do so.

Mark Gilstrap, Wyandotte County GOP chairman, said it’s a good question whether the Senate seat is a crucial race or not, and the way people are acting, and with the money pouring into this contest, a lot of them must think it is. “It’s getting extremely political,” he said.

He supported the general Republican view in this particular case and said, “You run real hard, you win or lose, you go on to the general election. That’s the way it should be.”

Gilstrap thinks it is possible that no Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate position may hurt the Democratic turnout in Wyandotte County for the other races on the ballot.

Calls to three Wyandotte County Democratic sources were not returned by the deadline for this story. Another Democratic candidate did not want to comment about a race that was not her own, a spokesman said.

More information about the U.S. Senate seat and Taylor vs. Kobach case is online at the Kansas Supreme Court website at and

Kansas City, Kan., police reports

Sept. 1
Burglary, criminal damage, 1300 block of North 55th Drive, apartments, refrigerator, sink, door, $910 value.
Burglary to auto, 600 block of Nebraska, cell phone, iPad mini, cigarettes, $605 value.

Aug. 31
Burglary, 10900 block of Georgia, cooler, disinfectant wipes, $43 value.
Criminal damage by gunfire, 00 block of South Iowa, automatic handgun used, 16 shell casings, two bullet slugs recovered.
Criminal discharge of firearm, recklessly at occupied dwelling, criminal damage, 600 block of Tauromee, handgun used, storm window, curtains, sofa, interior wall, $390 value.
Burglary, criminal damage, 6000 block of Oakland, rifle, watch, sword, $1,600 value.
Burglary, theft to auto, 1200 block of Gilmore, steering column, ignition, battery, $400 value.
Burglary, criminal damage, 2200 block of Garfield, window, $75 value.
Burglary, auto, 600 block of Washington Boulevard, purse, Social Security card, driver’s license, $46 value.
Burglary, criminal damage, 1100 block of County Line Road, door, metal trunk, guitar, $300 value.
Burglary, 1200 block of South 35th, iPad, cable box, five DVDs, $525 value.
Burglary, criminal damage, 5100 block of Hagemann, window, hair straightener, pillow, $140 value.
Burglary, criminal damage, 1300 block of Custer, door handle, lawn mower, $110 value.
Theft, 500 block of North 13th, air conditioner, fuse box, $2,600 value.
Theft, burglary, 1000 block of Locust, steering column, radio, $400 value.
Theft, 1600 block of Village West Parkway, shoplifting, store, one bottle of pop, 99 cents value.

Aug. 30
Possession of a weapon, possession of stolen property, 10th and Central, automatic firearm, revolver recovered, five ammunition rounds recovered.

Pinning ceremony

pinning ceremony web
Chief Boatswain’s Mate Krista Park, from Kansas City, Kan., and the daughter of David and Cynthia Park of Kansas City, Kan., received her Gold Fouled Anchors and joined the ranks of the U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer during a CPO Pinning ceremony on United States Coast Guard Training Center Yorktown Sept. 16. The CPO Pinning is a time-honored tradition that serves as the final event for CPO 365 Phase II training. (U.S. Navy photo by Logistics Specialist Seaman Brandon Bacon)