AG Derek Schmidt statement on election lawsuit

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TOPEKA – (June 26, 2018) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today issued the following statement in connection with the federal lawsuit filed Friday by a Massachusetts man who is seeking to appear on the Kansas primary election ballot as a Republican candidate for attorney general:

“I have reviewed this lawsuit carefully and am convinced it has no merit. Unfortunately, because this late-hour filing has the potential to disrupt the orderly conduct of the Kansas primary election by interfering with the timely production and handling of ballots throughout the State – and particularly with ballots for military personnel – it must be taken seriously. As attorney general, I am responsible for providing the legal defense in this case, but as a candidate for attorney general I have a personal interest in its outcome. Therefore, to avoid any potential conflict of interest that could delay the case and further risk disruption of the primary election process, it is regrettably necessary to appoint defense counsel outside the Office of the Attorney General. This is consistent with my earlier decision to recuse myself and this office from participating in the State Objections Board decision that is now at issue in this lawsuit. I am hopeful the federal court will quickly reject this lawsuit without disrupting the state’s August election or contributing to unnecessary cost.”

The case is Vermin Love Supreme v. Kansas State Elections Board et. al, Civil Case No. 18-CV-01182, pending in U.S. District Court in Wichita. The attorney general has retained the Hinkle Law Firm in Wichita as defense counsel in this case.