Sen. Pat Roberts won a fourth-term Tuesday night in Kansas, defeating independent businessman Greg Orman in a night overwhelmingly dominated by the GOP.
The contest should have been an easy win for the incumbent Republican, but Mr. Roberts had to deal with a primary attack that questioned his dedication to his home state and an anti-incumbent sentiment among Kansans unhappy with gridlock in Washington. Multiple networks called the race just before 11 p.m.
Republicans did not expect the contest in the deep-red state to be a close one, but the race tightened in early September when the Democratic candidate, Chad Taylor, withdrew from the race to give Mr. Orman a better shot at victory.
During the campaign, Mr. Roberts tied Mr. Orman to President Obama’s agenda, saying he was a liberal Democrat posing as an independent. The three-term senator used this GOP-wide strategy to overcome a strong anti-incumbent sentiment in Kansas, and also fought against allegations during a vicious primary that his real home was in Washington since he rarely returned in Kansas.
Mr. Orman ran as an independent, saying that he would support whoever had good ideas in Washington, not members of one party or another. He emphasized his position as a Washington outsider, saying in a debate that both Democrats and Republicans contributed to the gridlock in Congress.
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