The Kansas secretary of state announced on Friday that independent U.S. Senate candidate Greg Orman is officially certified for the November ballot.Kansas law requires independents to gather at least 5,000 petition signatures to qualify for the ballot. Running for office in Kansas is very difficult because of this requirement, and county-specific forms (there are 105 counties) must be used to gather signatures.
Orman's focus has been on meeting the petition requirement, but now he will work on developing his platform and strategy against his two opponents, Chad Taylor(D) and incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts (R).
Taylor's campaign is desperately low on funds, with the last quarterly FEC report showing him with less than $10,000 in cash on hand. It seems as though the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) had written off Kansas before the race even began.
Pat Roberts has an amazing war chest with over $2 million for the final stretch. Orman has shown amazing fundraising ability and has raised over $600,000 without PAC money or personal loans.
Orman has stepped up efforts to solidify his platform and has prepared a four-step plan for congressional reform:
- Enact constitutional amendment creating term limits. Orman has emphasized that politics should not dominate a person's career; a person's career experience should dominate their politics. Orman's fundamental strategy against incumbent Pat Roberts is Roberts' 47-year tenure as a political figure -- the quintessential career politician.
- End Congressional pensions. It has been 30 years since the last reform on congressional pensions -- when Congress lowered pensions to their current level. The average congressional retiree makes $42,048 while the average salary in Kansas is $26,845.
- Institute a lifetime ban on lobbying for Congress. Half of senators and congressman return to Washington as lobbyists, many while collecting taxpayer-funded pensions.
- Limit Congressional PACs. Orman is realistic in realizing that an outright ban is unfeasible and unlikely, but unlimited PAC money to leadership creates unlimited opportunity for waste and wrongdoing.
Orman has pledged to serve a maximum of two terms as senator and has also pledged to not accept future lobbying positions.
The Kansas Senate race is heating up and Orman is trying to become the first non-Republican senator from Kansas since 1938.
Photo Source: Greg Orman for U.S. Senate / Facebook