Johnson County businessman Greg Orman’s campaign for governor cleared a procedural hurdle Friday with confirmation the required 5,000 signatures had been verified to earn a place on the November general election ballot.
Orman received word from the Kansas secretary of state’s office that enough signatures had been verified from petitions he submitted on Aug. 6.
“I’m running for governor because we have been shut out of our own government by partisan politics and nationally driven agendas,” said Orman, who is on a ticket with Sen. John Doll, of Garden City. “Over the next 12 weeks, Sen. Doll and I will be traveling the state and making our case to voters that we’re no longer willing to stand by as party bosses and special interests run our state into the ground.”
Ballots in November will allow voters to select from among Orman; Democrat Laura Kelly, a Topeka state senator; Republican Kris Kobach, the secretary of state, of Lecompton; Libertarian Jeff Caldwell, of Kansas City, Kan.; and independent Rick Kloos, of Berryton.
Johanna Warshaw, spokeswoman for the Kelly campaign, said November voters would have the opportunity to vote for a candidate who placed the interests of Kansas families before their own political aspirations in the manner of Kobach and Orman. She also criticized former Gov. Sam Brownback, who was replaced by Gov. Jeff Colyer. He lost a close primary to Kobach.
“After the devastation of the Brownback experiment, Laura Kelly is the only candidate who can beat Kris Kobach in November and rebuild Kansas. She is a dedicated public servant committed to improving the lives of kids and families across the state,” Warshaw said.
Before approval of Orman’s petition signatures, Kobach said he wasn’t concerned about entry of a well-financed independent. It will alter the GOP’s messaging, Kobach said, because content must be directed at two rivals rather than only the Democratic Party’s nominee.
“When Republicans are unified, we win in statewide elections,” Kobach said. “When Republicans are divided, we don’t.”
Orman submitted more than 10,000 signatures to the secretary of state’s office. Democrats interested in keeping the wealthy independent off the ballot are expected to have a difficult time challenging enough signatures on the petitions to undermine his candidacy.
Kobach’s office confirmed on Twitter that Orman secured the minimum to be added to the ballot but didn’t disclose how many of his petition signatures were determined to be valid.