Secretary of state denies objection to Libertarian candidate leaving 4th Congressional District race

TOPEKA – The Secretary of state is denying an objection to a Libertarian’s withdrawal from the 4th Congressional District, clearing the way for Wink Hartman to run instead.

On Wednesday, the office determined there was no basis in state statute for one person to object to a candidate’s declaration of incapability, said Tyler Longpine, spokesman for Kansas Secretary of State Chris Biggs.

On Sept. 2, David Moffett, who had been the party’s pick, filed a statement with the Secretary of State’s office 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 GOP primary in August, was considering continuing his run for the congressional seat as a Libertarian.

The objection was filed by Wichita Republican Mark Kahrs on Sept. 7. It maintained that “Mr. Moffett has had no material change in circumstance since his Libertarian Party nomination… which would not 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.”

Tuesday evening, Hartman had a teleconference meeting with Libertarian Party leaders to discuss becoming the party’s candidate. A final decision is likely Friday.