Federal data shows that political and special interest groups spent nearly $17 million in Kansas starting in September in the nationally watched race between Republican Sen. Pat Roberts and his independent challenger.
Online records of the Federal Election Commission show the three-term GOP incumbent benefited more from the outside spending than independent candidate Greg Orman. Roberts won re-election.
Groups spent nearly $10 million on activities supporting Roberts or opposing Orman. They spent about $6.8 million supporting Orman or opposing Roberts.
This year’s election was the first time Kansas saw significant spending.
The U.S. Supreme Court struck down limits on such spending in January 2010, but such groups reported almost none during the competitive Republican primary won that year by Jerry Moran, who had an easy general election race.