Orman kicks off campaign for Kansas governor as independent

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

After an almost upset in the 2014 U.S. Senate race, entrepreneur Greg Orman is now running for governor.

"In 2014 we laid a great foundation. And let's remember that foundation was really built on a real desire on the part of the people of Kansas for something different. That desire in 2014 has only increased in 2018,” Orman said.

He launched his independent gubernatorial campaign Wednesday morning. Political scientist, Dr. Neal Allen, said Ormans' running could hurt the Democratic candidates the most.

"Democrats can only win in Kansas by doing really well with independents and with moderate Republicans. Orman will appeal to those people and the Republican base in Kansas is bigger than the Democratic base in Kansas,” Allen said.

In a call with reporters, Orman said Kansans want leaders who will put their needs above their political party.

"What is clear to me is that voters want real alternatives,” Orman said.

"They want to actually be able to vote for a candidate based on a positive vision for the future, not vote against a candidate based on hate and fear."

Allen said when it comes down to make a decision on who to vote for, people tend to follow their partisan identity.

"Even now when the parties themselves are very unpopular, people still tend to dislike the other party a lot so they go and vote for the party that is not the one they hate,” Allen said.

Orman launched an exploratory campaign in December, raising over $450,000. That was more than double raised by any Democratic candidate.

In 2014, Orman challenged Republican U.S. Senator Pat Roberts and received nearly 43 percent of the votes.

Orman now joins more than 20 other candidates for governor.

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A Kansas City-area businessman who previously gained national attention as an independent U.S. Senate candidate has kicked off a campaign for Kansas governor.

Greg Orman posted an ad online Wednesday after formally announcing his independent bid for governor in an interview Tuesday with The Topeka Capital-Journal.

Orman challenged Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts in 2014 and received almost 43 percent of the vote after the Democratic nominee dropped out.

Orman's new ad portrays him as a non-partisan problem-solver, but he is also viewed as a potential spoiler hurting the Democratic nominee most.

Orman appointed a campaign treasurer in December and raised $453,000 in cash contributions last month.

He joins a field of more than 20 potential candidates with term-limited Republican Gov. Sam Brownback expected to resign soon for an ambassadorship.

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