Greg Orman for Kansas

ORMAN: We can’t keep approaching politics in the same old way

Three weeks ago, we formally launched our campaign for governor of the great state of Kansas. Since then, I’ve traveled the state and met with voters and have been incredibly gratified by the response our campaign has received.

Hundreds of Kansans have told me they’re ready for something different and know our system of government isn’t serving them. They understand that if we want to face the challenges we have as a state, we can’t keep approaching politics in the same old way. We need a new approach, a new set of solutions and new leaders who can cut through the partisanship and the games and put the people of Kansas first.

That’s why I’m running for Governor as an Independent candidate.

Political independence to me isn’t an ideology. It’s about an approach to public service. It’s about putting the needs of Kansas ahead of the needs of a political party. It’s about using facts and common sense to solve problems, not clinging to ideologically driven policies despite all evidence that they are failing. It’s about being free from obligations to special interests and party bosses who control both parties. It’s about leaving our state a better place for our children and grandchildren, so that they can choose to build their lives in Kansas.

Being an Independent liberates me to serve Kansas in ways that no other governor can. As an Independent governor, I won’t be limited to choosing from a small group of politically active partisans to form my administration. I’ll be able to recruit the best and brightest to serve Kansas based on competence, not political loyalty. I’ll be able to embrace the best ideas regardless of where they came from to move our state forward. I won’t be obligated to pull answers from outdated partisan playbooks, but can bring innovative solutions to wrestle with the many serious issues facing Kansas.

I’ve heard some sideline pundits say an Independent can’t win. They say an Independent candidate will only spoil the race for one party or the other. The truth is you can’t spoil a system that’s already rotten.

If 2016 taught us anything, it’s that conventional wisdom is no longer relevant. I understand my candidacy is troubling to the defenders of the status quo. I understand that those in the political and media elite for whom our system of government is set up to serve would rather not see any change at all.

Don’t be dissuaded by those naysayers who tell you that your vote doesn’t count or the fix is in before the game has even been played. Don’t be discouraged by those who say that you — the voters — don’t actually hold all the power. You do. They don’t. Never let them forget it!

But this race isn’t about the pundits or the political elite. It’s about you and the future of our great state.

Are we going to embrace the future confidently and leverage all our state’s many natural advantages, or are we going to succumb to the politics of lock-step ideology, extremism and fear? Are we going to hide from the real challenges facing Kansas and allow them to slowly overcome us, or will we fight back? Are we going to innovate? Are we going to rediscover those things that made Kansas such a dynamic leader in the past and lead once again?

If you believe like me that Kansas’ best days are in front of us, and you want to be a part of making it happen, then join us. Join us to help build a state that our children and grandchildren will be proud of and where everyone willing to work hard can make a great life for themselves and their families.