Senate candidate Greg Orman receives endorsements from former Republican lawmakers

09/03/2014 10:44 AM

09/03/2014 10:59 AM

More than 70 former Republican lawmakers announced their support for the independent candidate for U.S. Senate over incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts on Wednesday.

Traditional Republicans for Common Sense, which is made up of moderate Republicans who have served in the Kansas Legislature, chose to endorse Greg Orman over Roberts and Democrat Chad Taylor.

“Our members know leadership because they’ve been leadership,” said Jim Yonally, the group’s chairman and a former state representative from Overland Park. “Our members have been there. They’ve been on the frontline. They’ve had to make the tough decisions.”

The group sees Orman as a pragmatist who can broker compromises between the two parties, said Rochelle Chronister, who has previously represented Neodesha in the House and served as chair of the Kansas Republican Party.

“This has been the most do-nothing Congress ever,” Chronister said. “They can’t even pass an appropriations bill to keep the government running.”

Chronister said that Roberts has moved too far to the right in recent years.

The group’s membership has a lot of overlap with Republicans for Kansas Values, which endorsed Paul Davis over Gov. Sam Brownback in the governor’s race in July, with a few exceptions. Chronister has not endorsed either candidate in the governor’s race, but she has criticized Brownback in public statements.

A poll by SurveyUSA released last week showed that Orman was drawing support from across the political spectrum. However, that poll showed Orman trailing both Roberts and Taylor in a four-way race that also includes Libertarian Randy Batson.

Orman has also picked up endorsement from Jim Sherow, the Democratic candidate in the 1st Congressional District, and Women for Kansas, a group that is supporting Democratic candidates in other statewide races.

Reach Bryan Lowry at 785-296-3006 or blowry@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BryanLowry3.

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