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Taylor v. Kobach

Supreme Court of Kansas

September 18, 2014

CHAD TAYLOR, Petitioner,
v.
KRIS KOBACH, IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE STATE OF KANSAS, Respondent

As Amended September 26, 2014.

Original action in mandamus.

Mandamus granted.

SYLLABUS

1. K.S.A. 25-306b(b) provides that no person nominated for any national, state, county, or township office may cause his or her name to be withdrawn from nomination after the primary election, except as provided by that statute.

2. K.S.A. 25-306b(b) provides one exception. It states that any person nominated for any national, state, county, or township office who declares that he or she is incapable of fulfilling the duties of office if elected may cause such person's name to be withdrawn from nomination by filing with the Secretary of State a written request signed by the person seeking to withdraw his or her nomination and acknowledged before an officer qualified to take acknowledgments of deeds.

3. K.S.A. 25-306b(b) further provides that no name withdrawn as provided by law shall be printed on the ballots for such office for the general election.

4. Based upon the challenge made in this case, a letter filed with the Secretary of State that recites " I, Chadwick J. Taylor, Democratic nominee for the United States Senate race, do hereby withdraw my nomination for election effective immediately and request my name be withdrawn from the ballot, pursuant to K.S.A. 25-306b(b)" complied with K.S.A. 25-306b(b). The Secretary of State thus has no discretion to refuse to remove Chadwick J. Taylor's name from the ballots, and mandamus is appropriate.

Pedro L. Irigonegaray, of Irigonegaray & Associates, of Topeka, argued the cause, and Elizabeth R. Herbert, of the same office, was with him on the petition for petitioner.

Edward D. Greim, of Kansas City, Missouri, argued the cause, and Thomas E. Knutzen, of the office of the Kansas Secretary of State, and Bradley J. Schlozman, of Hinkle Law Firm LLC, of Wichita, were with him on the brief for respondent.

Thomas D. Haney, of Stevens & Brand, L.L.P., of Topeka, was on the brief amicus curiae for David Orel.

MICHAEL J. MALONE, Senior Judge assigned. [1]

Page 307

[300 Kan. 732] OPINION

Per Curiam

This is an original action under Article 3, Section 3 of the Kansas Constitution by petitioner Chad Taylor against respondent Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Taylor seeks a writ of mandamus prohibiting Kobach from including Taylor's name on the ballot for the United States Senate in the

Page 308

November 4, 2014, general election. The heart of their controversy is whether Taylor's September 3, 2014, letter to Kobach requesting that his name be withdrawn from nomination for election complies with the requirements for ...


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