Moderates are key to defeating Kobach in Kansas

The objection questions the validity of petitions submitted by the independent candidate and Kansas City-area businessman to get on the ballot. (Thad Allton/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP File)

UPDATE 3:49 p.m. -- The State Objections Board has ruled that Independent Greg Orman will remain on the ballot in the Kansas Governor's race. 

Lawyers spent hours presenting evidence and answering questions on Thursday.

Will Lawrence brought 18 different examples of what the Kansas Democrats said were issues in Orman’s petition.

Most of them were notary signatures and only one objection was held up by the board.

They tossed 323 signatures collected by Kyler Winn, because he is a convicted felon and cannot collect signatures.

For Orman, the challenges show the problems with only two parties in the state.

“We’ve seen the curtain pulled back and seen firsthand the party bosses at work as they try to enforce blind loyalty on the part of the Republican side and try to suppress votes on the Democrat side,” he said.

“You could Google the question and probably find 10 different theories on how his candidacy helps or hurts either me or Ms. Kelly,” said Kris Kobach, the Republican Candidate for Governor.

Democratic candidate Laura Kelly’s camp said she is the strongest candidate to win, no matter who else is on the ballot.

The other Independent candidate, Rick Kloos, said his petition and signatures were accepted without any issues.

At the start of the day, there was some concern that the board would be politically motivated considering one person works for a candidate but Kobach said it was not.

“There’s accountability,” Kobach said. “If the Secretary of State or one of the other members of the state objections board acted in a way that displayed bias or was unfair, the voters could hold him accountable.”

Kobach did recuse himself from sitting on the panel. He appointed his replacement, the Assistant Secretary of State Eric Rucker.

Kobach said Rucker did not have the authority to appoint a third party.


ORIGINAL ARTICLE

A state board plans to meet Thursday to consider a challenge to independent candidate Greg Orman's right to appear on the November ballot in the Kansas governor's race.

The three-member, all-Republican State Objections Board set its meeting for 9 a.m. Thursday in Topeka. A Democratic legislative leader's chief of staff filed an objection to Orman's candidacy with the secretary of state's office Monday.

The objection questions the validity of petitions submitted by the independent candidate and Kansas City-area businessman to get on the ballot.

Orman needed signatures from 5,000 registered Kansas voters. The secretary of state's office said he had more than 7,000.

Orman's campaign spokesman has called the objection "frivolous."

The board is Secretary of State Kris Kobach's top deputy, Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Lt. Gov. Tracey Mann.

Democrats horrified by the thought that Kobach could be Kansas' next governor are attacking Orman, whose independent candidacy could thwart their ambitions and help elect the Republican.

Copyright 2018 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) and the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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