POLITICS
08/05/2014 11:02 pm ET Updated Aug 06, 2014

Pat Roberts Fends Off Tea Party Challenger Milton Wolf In Kansas Senate Primary

Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) defeated challenger Milton Wolf in Tuesday's Republican primary, the Associated Press reports.

Roberts, who has served in the Senate since 1997, successfully fended off a challenge from Wolf, a tea party-backed physician who was endorsed by groups like the Senate Conservatives Fund. With the brutal intraparty battle behind him, Roberts goes on to face Shawnee County district attorney Chad Taylor (D) in November's general election. Early polls show Roberts with a commanding lead over Taylor.

Below, more details from the Associated Press:

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts fended off an aggressive challenger Tuesday in the Kansas Republican primary, dealing another blow to a national tea party movement that has targeted longtime Washington incumbents.

Milton Wolf, 43, a Leawood radiologist making his first run for public office, failed to pull the upset in the race against Roberts, 78, whose political career dates to the late 1960s, when he was a congressional aide.

After surviving the primary, Roberts is a huge favorite to win his fourth, six-year term in November. Republicans enjoy a nearly 20 percentage-point advantage among registered voters and have won every U.S. Senate race in the past 80 years.

Wolf has said he is a distant relative of President Barack Obama but stresses his strong opposition to the Democrat's signature health care overhaul. He said his mother and Obama's grandmother were cousins, describing himself as a second cousin, once removed, of the president. He acknowledges that they did not meet until after Obama was elected.

Later, he attacked Roberts as a career politician out-of-touch with Kansas.

Roberts overcame an early-July gaffe in a radio interview about the rented space in a Dodge City home he lists as his official residence and attacked Wolf relentlessly over questionable postings of graphic X-ray images on a personal Facebook page in 2010.

Wolf had the backing of national tea party groups that were energized by U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's loss in Virginia's GOP primary in June.

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