An independent candidate who Democrats fear will pull votes away from their nominee in a three-way Kansas governor’s race will stay on the ballot, a state board ruled Thursday.
The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that the decision in independent Greg Orman’s favor came after seven hours of scrutiny of petition signatures by a three-board panel. A Democratic legislative leader’s aide had filed a petition showing what they said were irregularities in some of the 7,700 signatures Orman submitted to get on the ballot.
The board’s ruling is bad news for Democrats, who believe that the socially liberal Orman will draw votes away from their nominee, state senator Laura Kelly. That could allow Republican nominee Kris Kobach, one of the nation’s most notorious hardliners on voting rights and immigration, to win by a narrow margin.
The three-person board who issued the ruling was composed of deputies representing top state officials, all of whom are Republican. Assistant Secretary of State Eric Rucker sat in for Kobach, according to the Capital-Journal.