Sen. Pat Roberts beat back tea party challenger Milton Wolf in Tuesday’s Kansas Senate primary — keeping intact the perfect record of sitting Republican senators and clearing the way for the veteran lawmaker to secure a fourth term in the November election.
The contest was seen as the second-to-last chance for the insurgent wing of the GOP to send a sitting senator packing in the 2014 primary season, with only Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee left to face a serious challenge in this off-year election cycle.
The Associated Press called the race for Mr. Roberts roughly three hours after the polls closed.
Ford O’Connell, a Republican Party strategist, said the losses could spark some soul-searching among the GOP’s anti-establishment forces.
“As a career politician and a permanent fixture on Capitol Hill since the late 1960s who doesn’t even own a home in the state he represents, Pat Roberts embodies all that conservatives loathe, and by all means Roberts should have been ‘dust in the wind’ in this era of hyper-Beltway conservative discontent, yet he survived,” Mr. O’Connell said.
“Tea party groups have lost the element of surprise when trying to mow down an incumbent in high-profile races, and will likely need to go back to the drawing board and improve their tactics as well as their candidate selection,” he said.