Cruz Tells Kansas Tea Party It’s OK to Vote for Roberts
October 9, 2014

(AP) – Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz is urging tea party supporters in Kansas to vote for Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, warning that staying home would empower Democrats.

Cruz appeared with Roberts and Oklahoma U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn Thursday in Wichita, helping to kick off a four-day bus tour with stops in 11 eastern Kansas communities.

Cruz says he recognizes the tea party had a hard-fought primary in Kansas, but he’s stressing the primary is over.

Roberts told the more than 100 supporters that the road to a Republican majority in the U.S. Senate runs through Kansas.

The three-term Kansas incumbent faces a tough race against independent candidate Greg Orman.

Orman is running as a centrist, pledging to break partisan gridlock.

Roberts Wins Residency Challenge
May 13, 2014

(AP)— A state elections board Monday rejected a claim that U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts is not truly a Kansas resident, allowing the three-term Republican to seek re-election this year to a seat the GOP always has counted on holding.
The State Objections Board’s decision means Roberts will be on the ballot in the Aug. 5 Republican primary. But a spokesman for his tea party primary challenger, Milton Wolf, said the issue of whether Roberts is qualified to represent Kansas — tied to his ownership of an Alexandria, Virginia, home — won’t fade away.
Eight northeast Kansas residents objected to having Roberts listed on the primary ballot, arguing that the senator lives in the Virginia suburb of Washington, and not Dodge City, Kansas, where Roberts is registered to vote. Wolf, a Leawood, Kansas, radiologist, has made the issue a centerpiece of his attacks on Roberts.
“Senator Roberts has been perpetuating a sham on the citizens of Kansas,” said Chuck Henderson, one of the objectors, a Manhattan, Kansas, engineer and a member of the Flint Hills Tea Party.
Roberts is registered to vote at the Dodge City home of a couple who has long supported him and rents him a bedroom and bathroom. Roberts and his wife also own a duplex unit in Dodge City but rent it out.
The senator submitted a sworn statement to the board that he pays state and local taxes and has a valid Kansas driver’s license, which he renewed in March. He also said nothing has changed since state officials certified his residency following his re-election in 2008.
“I want to be clear on the record here today — absolutely no uncertainty about it — Senator Roberts qualifies as a resident of the great state of Kansas,” said Michael Kuckelman, an Overland Park, Kansas, attorney representing Roberts.
Roberts has been favored to win a fourth, six-year term, despite Wolf’s challenge. The only Democratic candidate so far is Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor. Democrats haven’t won a U.S. Senate race in Kansas since 1932.

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National Overview of 2013 Election, Christie in NJ, McAuliffe in Virginia, Pot Tax in Colorado
November 6, 2013

(AP) – The 2016 overtones were clear in this year’s two most high-profile elections.

Republican Gov. Chris Christie’s resounding re-election victory in Democratic-leaning New Jersey sets the opening argument for a possible White House run while Terry McAuliffe’s gubernatorial victory gives fellow Democrats – if not his confidante Hillary Rodham Clinton, herself – a road map for success in the pivotal presidential swing-voting state.

Christie became the first Republican to earn more than 50 percent of the New Jersey vote in a quarter-century. McAuliffe is the first member of the party occupying the White House to become Virginia governor since 1977.

Among a slate of off-year balloting from coast to coast, New York City voters also elected Bill De Blasio, making him the first Democrat to lead the nation’s largest city since 1989. Colorado agreed to tax marijuana at 25 percent, and Houston rejected turning the Astrodome into a convention hall, likely dooming it to demolition. Alabama Republicans chose the establishment-backed Bradley Byrne over a tea party-supported rival in a special congressional runoff election in the conservative state.

Turnout was relatively light – even in the most hard-fought races. Without presidential or congressional elections on the books, voters were primarily hard-core partisans. But to win, both gubernatorial victors sounded a tone of pragmatic bipartisanship – at a time of dysfunctional divided government in Washington – and, because of that pitch, they managed to cobble together a diverse cross-section of voters from across the political spectrum.

In Virginia, McAuliffe eked out a smaller-than-expected victory over conservative Republican Ken Cuccinelli. Exit polls found Cuccinelli fared well among core right-flank constituents – tea partyers, gun owners and rural voters. But the victor, McAuliffe, held advantages among unmarried women, voters who called abortion a top issue and the vote-rich Washington suburbs.

Democrats won the top two offices in Virginia, while the attorney general’s race was too close to call. Democrats, who already control both Senate seats, hoped this election would give them control of all major statewide offices for the first time since 1970, a rejection of the conservatism that has dominated for the past four years.

“Virginia’s on its way becoming reliably blue,” Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said.

In New Jersey, Christie coasted to a second term, defeating little-known Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono.

He assembled a winning coalition with broad support among constituencies that don’t reliably vote Republican. Exit polls show that Christie carried a majority of women and split Hispanics with Buono. He improved on his share of the vote among blacks in 2009 by more than 10 percentage points.

Christie’s advisers saw his ability to draw support from Democrats, independents and minorities as a winning argument ahead of 2016, pitching him as the most electable candidate in what could be a crowded presidential primary field.

Taken together, the results in individual states and cities yielded no broad judgments on how the American public feels about today’s two biggest national political debates – government spending and health care – which are more likely to shape next fall’s midterm elections.

Even so, Tuesday’s voting had local impact.

Other races of note:

-In Alabama, the GOP’s internal squabbles played out in the special congressional runoff primary election. Bradley Byrne, a veteran politician and the choice of the GOP establishment, won against tea party favorite Dean Young. The race was the first test of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s promise to try to influence primaries. The group had pumped at least $200,000 into supporting Byrne.

-Big city mayors: In New York, de Blasio cruised to victory over Republican Joe Lhota after Michael Bloomberg’s 12-year tenure. Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis, Seattle and other cities also chose mayors.

-Colorado: Voters agreed to tax marijuana at 25 percent and apply the proceeds to regulating the newly legalized drug and building schools. And 10 rural counties refused to approve secession from the state. One county narrowly voted to secede, but it was a symbolic gesture.

Tea Party’s Cruz Rocks Texas US Senate Primary
August 1, 2012

And the Tea Party bash rages on.
The storm-the-gates conservative movement that keeps finding ways to stick it to the establishment did it again Tuesday night in Texas, this time propelling the insurgent campaign of an Ivy League-educated son of a Cuban immigrant, Ted Cruz, to perhaps its most impressive victory yet.
With more than a fifth of precincts reporting, Cruz jumped to a prohibitive lead against establishment-backed Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, and The Associated Press declared Cruz the winner.
The race was the headliner of the night, as voters in Texas and Georgia cast ballots races to determine party nominees.
Once the underdog, Cruz, a constitutional lawyer who had never before run for office, vaulted ahead of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, in the final days of the race. Dewhurst, who finished 11 percent ahead of Cruz in the May primary, had long been seen as the prohibitive favorite to capture the seat of retiring Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.
It marked another triumph for the tea party, which scored upsets in May when little-known Nebraska state Sen. Deb Fisher came out of nowhere to win a three-way primary and Indiana state Treasurer Richard Mourdock ended Dick Lugar’s nearly four-decade Senate run. Cruz had won the support of leading conservative figures as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint. Dewhurst, meanwhile, had the backing of much of the state’s political class, including Gov. Rick Perry. Many of Perry’s aides assisted Dewhurst in his effort, including Dave Carney, the governor’s longtime political hand.

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NYT Includes Missouri Senate in Tea Party Profile
May 13, 2012

WASHINGTON — The primary victory of a Tea Party-blessed candidate in Indiana illustrates how closely Republican hopes for a majority in the Senate are tied to candidates who pledge to infuse the chamber with the deep-seated conservatism that has been the hallmark of the House since the Republicans gained control in 2010.

Richard E. Mourdock, who last week defeated Senator Richard G. Lugar, a six-term incumbent, promises to bring an uncompromising ideology to Capitol Hill if he prevails in November. And he is not the only Senate candidate who contends that Senate Republicans are badly in need of new blood.

In Arizona, Missouri, Nebraska and Texas, Republican Senate candidates are vying for the mantle of Tea Party outsider. A number of them say that they would seek to press an agenda that is generally to the right of the minority leader, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, and that they would demand a deeper policy role for the Senate’s growing circle of staunch conservatives.

Some say they have not decided whether they would support Mr. McConnell, who could find himself contending with the type of fractious rank and file that has vexed the House speaker, John A. Boehner of Ohio.

“We need to shake up the Republicans,” said Sarah Steelman, the Missouri state treasurer, who is seeking her party’s nomination to run against Senator Claire McCaskill, a Democrat. Asked if that meant new leadership in the Senate, Ms. Steelman replied, “Possibly.”

John Brunner, another Missouri candidate, said conservatives needed to have a louder voice in the Senate leadership. “When you bring more people to the team, it raises the bar for everyone,” he said. Referring to Mr. McConnell, he added, “There could be people up there who could be sputtering now who could take it up a notch.”

Representative Todd Akin, a third Missouri Senate hopeful, said, “I haven’t made any commitments to anybody, and they haven’t made very many commitments to me either.”