TOPEKA — The Secretary of State's Office denied an objection to a Libertarian's withdrawal from the 4th Congressional District race Wednesday, clearing the way for businessman Wink Hartman to run instead.
The office determined there was no basis in state law for one person to object to a candidate's declaration of incapability, said Tyler Longpine, spokesman for Secretary of State Chris Biggs.
David Moffett, who had been the party's pick, filed a statement with the Secretary of State's Office on Sept. 2, declaring he was "incapable of fulfilling the duties of the office if elected."
Later that week, word leaked that Hartman, who came in third in the Republican primary in August, was considering continuing his run for the congressional seat as a Libertarian.
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Wichita Republican Mark Kahrs filed the objection on Sept. 7. It maintained that "Mr. Moffett has had no material change in circumstance since his Libertarian Party nomination ... which would now render him incapable of fulfilling his elected duties and justify his withdrawal."
The objection cast Moffett as a place-holder candidate and said allowing such maneuvering would "serve as a catalyst for increased political gamesmanship, undermining public confidence in the candidate selection process and the integrity of Kansas elections."
Hartman had a teleconference with Libertarian Party leaders Tuesday night to discuss becoming the party's candidate. A decision is likely Friday.
The other candidates in the race to replace U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt are Republican Mike Pompeo, Democrat Raj Goyle and Reform Party candidate Susan G. Ducey.