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Archive for Saturday, July 6, 1996

LAWRENCE LIBERTARIAN VOWS FIGHT

July 6, 1996

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A Libertarian candidate for U.S. Senate from Lawrence won't take being removed from the Nov. 5 ballot sitting down.

Lawrence Libertarian Steve Rosile said Republicans pulled "a slick move" in using a technicality to remove his name from the ballot for U.S. Senate.

Rosile, a 44-year-old Kansas University law student, said he will challenge Friday's decision by Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh to remove his name from the ballot.

"This is obviously a power play by the Republicans to push the Libertarians off the ballot," Rosile said. "And it will result in legal challenges that will cost the taxpayers of Kansas and not the Republican Party."

Rosile was one of seven candidates of the Libertarian and Reform parties disqualified because of flawed nominations.

Rosile was disqualified because he didn't specify which of the two U.S. Senate seats he was seeking, according to Friday's decision.

Rosile said he filed for office May 11 for Kansas' only U.S. Senate seat open at the time, the one now held by Sen. Nancy Kassebaum, R-Kan., who is retiring.

Rosile said after he filed, the second Senate seat became open when Bob Dole resigned to devote time for his presidential campaign. Dole announce May 15 that he would resign and officially stepped down June 11.

"I see no basis for the disqualification other than political advantage," Rosile said.

Rosile said Republicans appear to be worried that he could take too many GOP votes away in a close race for the Kassebaum seat between U.S. Rep. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Democratic State Treasurer Sally Thompson.

A Journal-World statewide poll done in late June showed that Roberts and Thompson were in a virtual dead heat for the seat.

"They're expecting a close race and I could make a difference," Rosile said.

Libertarian candidates, he said, "appeal to the limited-government Republicans" and GOP officials removed him from the ballot to keep him from taking those votes away from Roberts.

When Rosile ran for secretary of state in 1994, he received 4.3 percent of the vote, or 34,005 votes, and spent $500 on his campaign.

Rosile said he intended to campaign full time during this election, but would spend less than $5,000.

Rosile said he hadn't been formally notified of his ballot removal. When he is notified, he'll have three days to appeal to a panel of state officers.

He expects the matter to eventually end in state district court.

"Today is the first time I heard of any problems with my nomination," he said. "It's a disservice to me and to the people of Kansas. They're using this device to push us off the ballot. It's pure politics."

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