LJWorld.com weblogs Elections 2014
State senator may challenge Wolf for right to challenge Roberts
State Sen. Denis Pyle, a conservative Republican from Hiawatha, announced Friday that he may challenge Republican Pat Roberts for the U.S. Senate, arguing that he doesn't think the current Tea Party candidate, Milton Wolf, is up to the job.
In a statement on his website, Pyle said he is forming an exploratory committee, which enables him to raise money for a campaign before officially filing for the race.
Pyle said conservative Republicans have been disappointed with Roberts, who is running for his third term in the Senate, and that they were "eager to support Mr. Wolf's campaign, but in the last few months, they feel that Mr. Wolf's challenge is going to fall significantly short."
Pyle was first elected to the Kansas Senate in 2005 after serving one term in the Kansas House. He has been the sponsor or co-sponsor of several bills to regulate abortions and stem cell research. He chairs the Senate's committee on local government and serves on the education and natural resources committees.
Wolf, a radiologist from Johnson County making his first run for public office, has been endorsed by the Tea Party Express. Over the last several months, his campaign has launched a daily barrage of attacks against Roberts, via Twitter and email press releases, for being a Washington insider and accusing him of not really being a resident of Kansas.
On Tuesday, however, Tea Party challengers in other states suffered a series of defeats in GOP primaries against establishment Republicans in Kentucky, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Idaho, leading some pundits to suggest that the Tea Party movement is now finished.
Primary elections in Kansas will be held Aug. 5. Candidates have until June 2 to file for office.