Third party long shot

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April 23, 2018 - 11:00 PM

Greg Orman, Independent candidate for Kansas governor and a Kansas City-area businessman, speaks to The Register Friday about his candidacy. Orman said he recognizes the challenges of a third-party candidacy but believes Kansas voters are frustrated with current leadership.

There was a moment sometime after the close of the 2014 election when independent candidate Greg Or-man, having just conceded a high-profile, tightly fought U.S. Senate race to longtime Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, fell into conversation with another of Kansas’ political veterans, Bob Dole.

Orman recalled the exchange. “You know,” Dole told the then 45-year-old Independent, “if you’d just said you’d be a Republican, you’d be in the Senate right now.” Orman knew as much; he’d had friends, colleagues, strangers tell him the same: A third-party candidate can’t win in Kansas. Declare yourself a Republican — skate to victory. “But I said to Sen. Dole what I said to [the others]: “[If I were elected as a Republican,] would I be getting anything done?” Dole thought about it for a second. “No,” the former senator said, “you wouldn’t, and I’m really sad about that.”

“You know,” said Orman in a conversation with the Register on Friday. “There was a time when our politics worked.”

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