Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Bob Beatty: How Orman Complicates the Gubernatorial Race

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Bob Beatty: How Orman Complicates the Gubernatorial Race

Article excerpt

The 2018 Kansas governor's race was already set to be the most interesting -- or strange, depending on your point of view -- in Kansas history.

It features the largest number of candidates to ever run, the most controversial candidate (Kris Kobach) since goat gland doctor John Brinkley's wild candidacy in 1930, a candidate (Jeff Colyer) who is lieutenant governor but acting like governor while he waits to be governor (which may or may not happen any day now) and a bunch of high-school students who found out they could get on national television by running for governor in a state with no age requirements for the office. Also, the Republicans are taking a cue from the Russians and, in the spirit of freedom and democracy, telling their candidates when and where they can debate and dictating to the media what kinds of questions they're allowed to ask.

Then on Wednesday, it got more interesting -- or strange, depending on your point of view -- with the entrance of Greg Orman into the race. Orman, you'll recall, is a millionaire businessman who ran as an independent against Republican Pat Roberts for U.S. Senate in 2014. Orman's candidacy scared away the Democrat in the race, then-Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor, and even scared Roberts enough to make him agree to a primetime TV debate, something incumbent Republican senators are about as apt to agree to as KU scheduling a basketball game with Wichita State. Still, after more than $20 million dollars spent and 53 different TV ads run by Orman, Roberts and outside groups, Roberts prevailed 53 percent to 42 percent.

Orman is running because he believes he has the name recognition and resources to make a competitive run, which is true. Most importantly, he believes at least 40 percent of Kansas voters are willing to leave a major party candidate (when both parties are on the ballot) and vote for an independent -- a tenuous proposition at this point.

No doubt Orman is inspired and emboldened by his 2014 race where he scared Roberts, but keep in mind that in that race, there was no Democrat on the ballot. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.