Senate race: Orman’s nonpartisan approach makes him the sensible choice.

Senate race: Orman’s nonpartisan approach makes him the sensible choice.

The Garden City Eagle

No one can argue with Greg Orman on one count: Extreme partisanship from both parties has stymied progress in the nation’s capital.

Orman, an independent candidate for U.S. Senate, supported Republicans and Democrats in the past, and was disappointed by both sides.

It led the successful Olathe businessman to offer Kansans an alternative.

Orman would not be an automatic vote for either party, vowing to work with those willing to tackle issues in a nonpartisan way.

The independent also wouldn’t endorse Democrat Harry Reid or Republican Mitch McConnell for U.S. Senate majority leader, viewing both as too partisan for too long. And he’s right.

Also encouraging would be Orman’s approach to issues that matter in western Kansas.

He would advocate for federal crop insurance as farmers operate in a constant state of uncertainty, and immigration policy that doesn’t undermine labor needs in the region.

A proven job creator, Orman has ideas on ways to help small businesses, from more effective lending to stepped-up review of federal regulations that may block progress.

Reining in the cost of higher education and soaring college loan debt would be another priority for a candidate determined to put problem-solving above partisanship.

As for Orman’s opponent, Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, he’s spent 34 years in Congress — and lost any positive influence he once had.

Not only was Roberts AWOL for two-thirds of Senate Agriculture Committee meetings since 2000 — an insult to all Kansans — he also rejected the state’s interests by aligning with tea-party extremists.

His vote against the recent farm bill with needed protections for Kansas producers was proof. He also opposed spending measures that included support for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, and investment in wind energy development so important to Kansas.

While Orman offers solid ideas on the campaign trail, Roberts relies on an obsessive and desperate attempt to link his opponent to Senate Majority Leader Reid and President Obama. Orman was right in calling such baseless attacks more proof of what’s wrong with Washington.

Kansans deserve better than business as usual. They deserve the dedicated, energetic and visionary representation Orman would deliver, making him the clear choice for voters on Nov. 4.

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