Orman denies rumors, says he will not drop out of governor’s race


Kylie Cameron

Independent candidate for governor Greg Orman pictured in the Rhatigan Student Center.

Independent Greg Orman has heard plenty of rumors that he’ll soon drop out of the Kansas governor’s race. He denies them all.

“I’ve heard about two dozen [rumors], but I will tell you, they’re all untrue,” Orman said. “We are in this race ‘til the end.”

Republican Kris Kobach and Democrat Laura Kelly remain in a dead heat with less than three weeks until Election Day. A recent Remington Research Group poll shows the race to be a statistical tie between the two major-party candidates.

Another poll conducted by Emerson College showed Orman polling at roughly 9 percent. Orman, who nearly unseated Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts as an independent in 2014, rejects the notion that he’s merely a kingmaker in the governor’s race.

“I actually see a lot of momentum coming our way,” Orman said. “I continue to be confident that we’re going to pull it out.

“A vote for me isn’t a vote for Kobach or a vote for Kelly. A vote for me is a vote for Kansas,” Orman said.

In an interview with KAKE, FiveThirtyEight editor in chief Nate Silver speculated that Orman is pulling more votes from Kelly than Kobach.

“If [Orman] were to like drop out, that could significantly change the race, and probably he is a factor helping Kobach,” Silver said.

FiveThirtyEight’s governor’s forecast gives the Republican secretary of state a 2.3 percent advantage over the Democratic state senator.

Kobach has already drawn President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to the Sunflower State to rally on his behalf. On Thursday, former Republican Gov. Mike Hayden endorsed Kelly, joining every other living former governor of Kansas besides Sam Brownback.

Orman said his is the only vision that will move Kansas forward.

“Secretary Kobach is talking about starving the government. Senator Kelly has got all sorts of things she wants to spend money on but has no way to pay for them except to raise taxes,” Orman said.

The independent said a vote for either Kobach or Kelly will maintain the status quo in Kansas.

“In my mind, the only way to truly waste your vote is to vote for one more Democrat or one more Republican to run our state, because they’ve clearly demonstrated they don’t have the vision or the innovative ideas or the ways to do it,” Orman said.

“It’s a little sad that we feel like we have to vote for a bad candidate just to avoid a worse one.”

Once a candidate has qualified to be on the November ballot, their name cannot be removed.