Chad Taylor, a district attorney, informed the Kansas Secretary of State Wednesday that he is withdrawing from the race. Originally, his statement said “suspended,” but the word was lined through and replaced with a handwritten “terminated.”
Taylor issued a separate statement saying he made the decision after consulting with his staff, supporters and Democratic Party leaders. He did not give a reason.
Kansas.com reported Wednesday that Taylor’s move could lead to broader support for the independent candidate in the race, Olathe businessman Greg Orman. There is also a Libertarian candidate, Randall Batson, of Wichita.
Roberts executive campaign manager Leroy Towns issued a statement accusing Orman of engineering a “corrupt bargain” with the national Democratic Party.
The move, which came on the last day for ballot changes, could clear the way for Democrats to rally behind Greg Orman, an independent candidate who has left the door open to caucusing with both parties if elected. Orman, who used to be a Democrat and a Republican, has been viewed as a more viable opponent against Sen. Pat Roberts (R), who polls show is vulnerable. Orman has raised a lot more money than Taylor.
“This is certainly an unexpected turn of events. Chad Taylor is a committed public servant. He ran an honorable campaign and worked hard, and I wish him and his family well,” said Orman in a statement.
In an interview with The Washington Post last week, Orman would not say which party he would caucus with if elected. He suggested that he would side with whichever party is in the majority and would consider joining both sides if he ends up being the deciding vote.
The letter is here:
— John Celock (@JohnCelock) September 3, 2014
Sen. @clairecmc played a key role in the shakeup in the Kansas Senate race, per source with knowledge of situation
— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) September 4, 2014
And, a pair of tweets for analysis on this new trend in Democratic politics…of trying so hard not to be Democrats they actually drop out of races to allow Independents a shot:
For the second time this week, a Democrat has dropped out to give an independent a clearer shot at a GOP incumbent: http://t.co/7D2g3o3xcY
— Rebecca Sinderbrand (@sinderbrand) September 3, 2014
— Dan McLaughlin (@baseballcrank) September 3, 2014