Topeka — Pat Buchanan's name will appear on the Nov. 7 ballot in Kansas as the presidential candidate of the Reform Party.
The State Objections Board made that decision Friday after hearing two hours of comments from several Buchanan supporters and one supporter of his Reform Party rival, John Hagelin.
About 30 Buchanan backers responded to the board's unanimous decision with applause.
"I think our presentation was very good, and there was really only one logical conclusion," said Mike Wilson, chairman of the Reform Party of Kansas.
Both Buchanan and Hagelin had filed certificates of nomination with Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh's office. Thornburgh rejected both because of their dispute, forcing the board to meet.
The board's members are Thornburgh, Lt. Gov. Gary Sherrer and Atty. Gen. Carla Stovall. It decides whether candidates have been improperly included or left off the ballot.
Hagelin supporters still could ask Kansas courts to overturn the board's decision, but those courts typically give great weight to an administrative decision like the board's.
Also, Thornburgh's office already has certified Hagelin as an independent candidate. Had the Objections Board sided with Hagelin in the Reform Party dispute, Hagelin would have had the choice of the Reform Party nomination or independent status. His supporters have said he would choose the Reform Party nomination.
Buchanan, a conservative commentator, left the Republican Party last year to run for the Reform Party's nomination.
"He followed the procedures, and he won the nomination," Thornburgh said after the board made its unanimous decision.
Hagelin, a nuclear physicist from Fairfield, Iowa, is also the Natural Law Party's presidential candidate, as he was in 1992 and 1996. The Natural Law Party grew out of the teachings of Transcendental Meditation leader Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
He is on the ballot in Kansas as an independent candidate because of the efforts of Natural Law Party supporters. The Natural Law Party isn't recognized by the state.
Buchanan had the support of the majority of delegates at the Reform Party's national convention Aug. 10-13 in Long Beach, Calif. He also has the backing of national party leaders.
Hagelin's supporters contend Buchanan violated Reform Party rules in an attempt to take over the organization and win the party's nomination.