© 2021 KMUW
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

UPDATE: Kansas Board Rejects Residency Challenge Against Sen. Pat Roberts

UPDATE: A state elections board has rejected a claim that U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts is not truly a Kansas resident, allowing him to seek re-election this year.

A state panel will meet today to decide if Republican Kansas Senator Pat Roberts is eligible to appear on the primary election ballot.

Four Kansans have filed claims challenging his candidacy; they say he may not meet the residency requirement.

The State Objections Board makes decisions in these situations. It's made up of the Kansas secretary of state, lieutenant governor and state attorney general. All three of them have endorsed Roberts.

The complaints ask if Roberts really lives in Virginia, where he owns a home.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach says each side will get a chance to make their case and then the board will issue a decision. Kobach says, in general, the residency requirements for public offices under federal and state law are pretty broad.

"It doesn't say, for example, that you have to own a house or that you have to have been there for a certain number of years. That broad definition in the past has made in relatively difficult for objectors to succeed,” says Kobach.

Roberts' primary challenger, Milton Wolf, previously asked Kobach to block Roberts from running.

Senator Roberts' office says he rents a room in Dodge City in the home of a longtime supporter. Roberts also owns a property in the area that he rents out. His office says he's registered to vote and pays taxes in Kansas.