Who is Greg Orman and where does he stand on the issues?
Kansans need to hear specific answers to those basic questions regarding a U.S. Senate race that’s suddenly and appropriately capturing national attention.
Orman, an Olathe businessman, is an independent candidate for the seat that Republican Pat Roberts has held for 18 years. Just days ago, Orman was polling below Roberts and Democrat Chad Taylor.
But when Taylor stunningly dropped out of the race on Wednesday, Orman became a much more viable challenger.
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On Thursday, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach said Taylor’s name must stay on the ballot. But Taylor’s candidacy is fried, and Kansans must now focus on this contest’s two main players.
Orman says a lot on the campaign trail that could appeal separately to voters in the Republican and Democratic parties. That’s something you’d expect from a candidate who attacks hyper-partisan politicians.
Pledging to be collaborative is one thing, of course. But sticking to solid principles is the mark of a good elected representative, too.
Some of Orman’s stances, as outlined on his website, tilt him toward Democrats’s territory. Orman says he trusts women “to make their own decisions about their reproductive health.” He says the U.S. Supreme Court’s “United” decision mistakenly gave corporations the same rights as people, leading to out-of-control campaign spending by special-interest groups. On the pro-environment side, Orman started a company that designed and installed energy-efficient lighting.
On other issues, Orman’s views sound more Republican. He does not appear to be a big fan of the Affordable Care Act, which he said “expanded a broken system.”
He’s on both sides of the political divide on still other matters, implying that’s how solutions will be found.
He’s a gun owner who clearly endorses the Second Amendment, for example, but who also strongly supports mandatory background checks.
It’s a long way from now to Election Day. Partly because the fate of his campaign could help decide which political party controls the U.S. Senate, Orman must get out a clear message to Kansas voters — while Roberts fights for his political life.