US Senate race in Kansas heats up ahead of hearing

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts‘ re-election campaign is questioning the professional ethics of his tea party foe in the state’s Republican primary over the challenger’s past as president of a company that sold nutritional supplements.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1nq7DNK ) that a spokesman for challenger Milton Wolf described the attack from the three-term U.S senator’s camp as an attempt to distract voters from questions about whether Roberts truly is a Kansas resident. Roberts has said the residency claim is “without merit.”

Roberts spokesman Leroy Towns issued a statement Friday attacking Wolf over Physician’s Own, a now-defunct company registered in Texas that sold herb, vitamin and mineral supplements.

Records available online from the Texas secretary of state’s office show the company was formed with Wolf as its president in February 2000, about eight months after Wolf received his medical degree from the University of Kansas Medical Center. Wolf was licensed as a doctor in Kansas in 2004, and records show that the company’s right to do business in Texas was terminated by 2005.

Towns included with his statement an archived company web page identifying Wolf as “Milton R. Wolf, M.D.” Visitors with questions could click on an “ask Dr. Wolf” link. The page also contained a slogan, “Real Doctors. Real Credibility.”

Towns said the information raises “serious questions” about Wolf’s professional ethics because he didn’t have his Kansas medical license at the time.

“Additionally, his specialty is radiology, which is far different than nutrition,” Towns said.

Wolf spokesman Ben Hartman declined to answer questions about Wolf’s company in Texas and accused Roberts of “smearing Dr. Wolf’s name.”

The back-and-forth came with the three-member State Objections Board preparing to meet Monday to consider a challenge to Roberts being listed on the ballot for re-election this year.

The objections from Chuck Henderson and Christine Tawney, of Manhattan, and Tom and Sylda Nichols, of nearby Leonardville, are identical and center on issues Wolf has raised in campaigning against Roberts.

Wolf contends Roberts is a resident of Alexandria, Virginia, where the senator owns a home.

Roberts and his wife own a duplex unit in Dodge City but rent it out. The senator is registered to vote in Dodge City at the address of a couple who support him and rent him a room and bathroom.

“While facing serious residency questions that could prevent Pat Roberts from even appearing on the ballot, Roberts‘ campaign is trying to distract the voters again,” Hartman said.

Towns said that Roberts has a Kansas driver’s license, pays local property taxes and Kansas personal income taxes and has been a Dodge City resident for more than three decades.

The Objections Board if made up of Secretary of State Kris Kobach, Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer and Attorney General Derek Schmidt. All three are Republicans who have endorsed Roberts.

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