TOPEKA — Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor on Friday formally launched his campaign for U.S. Senate, entering a race where two Republicans are already slugging it out for their party’s nomination.
Taylor, 40, said he plans to work hard to raise enough money and establish enough name recognition statewide to mount a credible challenge to either the longtime incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Roberts or tea party-favored GOP primary challenger Milton Wolf.
In a recent poll by the Democratic survey firm Public Policy Polling, 76 percent of Kansans surveyed had no opinion one way or the other about Taylor.
“If on November the fourth, 76 percent of the people of the state of Kansas still have no opinion of me, then I have failed miserably in this campaign,” he said.
Asked how he planned to change that, he said he plans an ambitious schedule of attending community events across the state.
“One of the ways I’m not going to do it is, I’m not going to put crime-scene photos up on my Facebook,” he said.
That comment was a swipe at Wolf, who has been doing damage control since last week when the Topeka Capital-Journal reported that he had posted on Facebook grisly X-rays along with captions joking about critical and fatal gunshot wounds.
Wolf, a physician, has apologized for any offense and characterized the posts as a type of “gallows humor” that doctors engage in to deal with stress. He accused the Roberts campaign of waging a “war on doctors” for criticizing the X-ray posts.
On Roberts, Taylor largely echoed Wolf’s campaign mantra that Roberts is an entrenched Washington insider.
He said that since Roberts first joined Congress in 1981, the national debt has ballooned from $998 billion to $17.27 trillion.
“The people who have gotten our country into the situation we are currently in will not be the people to lead us out,” he said.
Taylor said he looks forward to the conclusion of the Republican primary so he can engage the party’s nominee in open debates.
“We’ve got 90 days (between the primary and general election),” Taylor said. “Why don’t we do 105 debates in 105 counties?”