Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) wants to be made a party in the last-ditch lawsuit to force Kansas Democrats to name a new Senate candidate, his lawyers said in a brief filed Thursday.
The lawsuit was filed by a registered Democratic voter last week shortly after the Kansas Supreme Court ruled that Kobach must remove former Democratic nominee Chad Taylor from the ballot. The voter, David Orel, has refused to speak with the press and his son is reportedly a campaign staffer for Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.
Kobach’s lawyers argued in Thursday’s filing to the district court that’s hearing the case that, as the top election official in the state, Kobach should also be a party to the lawsuit.
In a separate filing, Kobach asked the court to hold a hearing by Friday and issue an order by Wednesday so that the ballots can be certified. Kobach already ordered overseas military ballots to be sent without a Democratic candidate, but said in his order to local election officials that new ballots could be sent if a court required Democrats to pick a new candidate.
The lawsuit is likely the last chance for Kobach to force Democrats to place a nominee on the ballot. The state supreme court already ruled against him after he declared Taylor should stay on the ballot, and election law experts like Rick Hasen at the University of California-Irvine have observed that there isn’t much time left for a court to issue such an order to the state Democratic party.
Otherwise, independent candidate Greg Orman will square off with incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) in November.