The campaign treasurer for independent Greg Orman resigned his position on Tuesday and endorsed Democrat Laura Kelly in the Kansas race for governor.
Tim Owens, a former Republican state senator, said it is time to unite behind Kelly, a Topeka state senator, in an effort to stop Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
“I’ve been a friend and colleague to Greg Orman for several years. I supported his run for Senate in 2014 and until today I supported his run for governor. However, this is a critical election for Kansas. We cannot risk the future of our state,” Owens said in a statement released by the Kelly campaign.
“This decision was very difficult for me, but I have to put Kansas first,” he said.
In a statement, Orman acknowledged that he accepted Owens’ resignation. He said Owens believes the best path forward for Kansas is with an “establishment candidate like Laura Kelly.”
“I wish Tim well, but have told him that my campaign is about the people of Kansas, not about establishment figures in Topeka. As I’ve said since day one, I am committed to the tens-of-thousands of voters who support me and who are sick and tired of the status-quo,” Orman said.
Orman has consistently been in third place in the race, with support hovering around 10 percent, according to polls throughout the fall.
By contrast, Kelly and Kobach have been locked in a tight race. Some Democrats have expressed fears that Orman’s presence in the race will draw votes away from Kelly.