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Politics

Sen. Pat Roberts Changes Campaign Team

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Republican Sen. Pat Roberts has shaken up his struggling re-election team in Kansas, moving aside a longtime confidante as campaign manager and getting help from a national operative in a race that's suddenly a battleground in the fight for Senate control. KMUW’s Abigail Wilson has more...  

Roberts confirmed Friday that Leroy Towns — who the three-term Senator once described as his "alter ego" — has stepped down as executive campaign manager, though he will remain as a consultant. The National Republican Senatorial Committee is sending in a seasoned consultant, Chris LaCivita to take the position.

The campaign also has a new director for its grassroots operations, Alan Cobb, previously a senior campaign adviser to Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo. Cobb is a former state director and national official with Americans for Prosperity, the anti-tax, small government group backed by Charles and David Koch.

The 78-year-old incumbent looked vulnerable after winning only 48 percent of the vote in the August primary against a tea party opponent. The race also was jostled this week when Democrat Chad Taylor attempted to withdraw from the race, a move that appeared to be aimed at giving independent candidate Greg Orman a better shot at defeating Roberts.