Roberts turns back tea party challenge in Kansas

McClatchy Washington BureauAugust 5, 2014 

APTOPIX Kansas Primary

Kansas Senator Pat Roberts raises his arms in the air as a crowd of supporters cheer for him on Tuesday Aug. 5, 2014, while watching primary votes come in at the Overland Park, Kan., Marriott Hotel. (AP Photo/Topeka Capital-Journal, Chris Neal)

CHRIS NEAL — AP

Veteran Sen. Pat Roberts turned back a tea party challenge from Dr. Milton Wolf Tuesday in the Kansas Republican Senate primary, the latest in a series of setbacks this year for the grassroots movement.

Associated Press reported Robets has won the primary.

Wolf blasted Roberts, 78,as a senator too tied to insider Washington. He criticized Roberts for owning a home near the Senate but renting in his home state.

But Wolf, who has strong support from the nation’s conservative community, was fighting a longtime Kansas political figure. Roberts was seeking a third Senate term, and had previously been a congressman.

Wolf was hurt by X-rays of gunshot victims he had put on Facebook. And Roberts argued that he spent a lot of time in Washington fighting for Kansans.

He also had strong backing from the party establishment. After his victory, Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kansas, the party’s national Senate campaign chairman, said: "Senator Roberts is a leader and continues to fight against the Obama Administration's vast overreach from Obamacare to harmful regulations that limit jobs, stifle growth, and hurt American workers.”

Tea party backers have now lost challenges to Republican Senate incumbents in Kentucky, Mississippi and other states this year.

Roberts is a strong favorite to win the general election in November.

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