Milton Wolf has been mounting a strong primary challenge for the seat currently held by Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts. But a recent expose by the Topeka Capital-Journal of Facebook posts made by Wolf has some questioning whether he will be able to continue the race.
Wolf, a radiologist from Leawood, Kan., has founded his campaign on the fact that he’s a physician who has never before run for office. But, when the Capital-Journal examined Wolf's Facebook page, it found X-rays of shooting victims posted with snide comments.
The campaign had been going reasonably well for Wolf — earlier this month the New York Times ran a story, showing that Sen. Roberts doesn’t maintain a residency in Kansas, and established a voting address at a property he owns and rents out in Dodge City.
Not long after, Milton Wolf entered the race against him, seizing the opportunity to paint Roberts as out of touch and part of the Washington elite.
Washburn University political science professor Bob Beatty says lack of political experience cuts both ways. He says that getting caught with crude posts on Facebook is just the kind of thing often happens to a would-be politician who’s not fully prepared for a major race.
“It’s in some ways ironic, because the very thing that Wolf is touting, which is that he’s not a politician, you know, new to the political game, is the very thing that make this sort of thing more probable,” says Beatty. “Because ordinary Americans who may not be considering running for office do wacky things — do things that may be offensive, that may not be politically correct."
In an accompanying video with the story, Topeka Capital-Journal reporter Tim Carpenter quotes comments Wolf made on Facebook accompanying an X-ray showing a decapitated shooting victim.
“Wow, one of my all-time favorites from my residency days. Pretty active knife and gun club at Truman Med,” quotes Carpenter from Wolf's Facebook post, before reading another. “What kind of gun blows someone’s head off completely? I’ve got to get one of those."
“You know what, I’ll tell you something. I’ll tell you the burden that you carry when you’re a doctor, and you have people who come to you and put their lives in your hands,” Wolf says of the video.
“Looking at the video,” says Beatty, “it’s a little unclear as to whether Wolf saw this coming, and if he did, whether he understood that this could be something that could derail the campaign at an early stage.”
Beatty says it’s possible that this stage of the campaign could prompt Wolf to bow out of the race. He says Wolf’s candidacy can remain viable if he is able to raise large amounts of money to mount a TV advertising campaign.