As an Independent candidate for the U.S. Senate, Greg Orman faces the challenge of introducing himself to Kansas voters on top of running against Republican incumbent Pat Roberts and Shawnee County District Attorney and Democratic candidate Chad Taylor.
Orman is in the middle of an 18-city bus tour across Kansas and made several campaign stops in Western Kansas on Wednesday.
The Olathe businessman said voters are frustrated with the lack of movement in the federal government.
“There’s been a whole lot of position for partisan advantage, but there’s been very little genuine problem-solving happening in Washington,” Orman said.
Orman, who describes himself as fiscal conservative who is socially tolerant said as an Independent he isn’t obligated to a certain political party.
“We’re about solving problems, not partisanship,” Orman added. “Running as an Independent gives me the freedom to do that, it gives me the freedom go to Washington and support the best idea.”
Orman said the biggest issue across Kansas is the economy and economic growth, but issues are also differing by region. He said in Hays and western Kansas, housing availability and water are two important issues.
“We need to make sure that the policies we’re enacting in Washington don’t inadvertently encourage the over-consumption of water,” he said.
He said, for example, that while sorghum is a much more efficient crop when it comes to water, it is four times as expensive to insure as corn.
On energy, Orman said he generally is supportive of alternative fuels and energy. He said that allows the U.S. to move away from supporting countries that have “interests that are adverse to the United States.”
He added it is crucial to continue to produce domestic oil and other energy resources to offset consumption of foreign oil.
Orman said his campaign is making a point to do a community service project at most of their stops on the bus tour in an effort to reconnect with the idea that serving in the Senate is about public service.
The tour continues with stops in southwest Kansas on Thursday before stopping in Great Bend on Friday.
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