Republican incumbent Roberts rolls over independent Orman in Kansas state race

Photo: Travis Heying / The Wichita Eagle /

The sunflower state was seeing red as the midterm election results rolled in Tuesday, Nov. 4. The GOP swept Kansas in both the U.S. congressional and gubernatorial positions. Incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts (R) was ushered into his fourth term in the U.S. Senate by 11 points over newcomer, Greg Orman (I), despite speculation that the Independent would give Roberts a run for this money once Chad Taylor (D), the potentially vote-splitting Shawnee Country district attorney, was stricken from the ballot in September. Even with an endorsement from Traditional Republicans for Common Sense, the Orman campaign experienced a blip in its bipartisan flow when Vice President Joe Biden suggested that Orman’s loyalties would automatically lie with the Democratic Party in future caucuses. After considerable backlash from the right, the Orman campaign responded with an evidently-futile promise to work with members of Senate from both sides of the aisle and caucus with whichever would place a Kansas senator in the majority.

By the time all of the results were in, Roberts’ self-proclaimed “tough, tested and trusted conservative [values]” proved to be more convincing than Orman’s promise to end the partisan gridlock in Washinghton. Orman’s foundation of “fiscally responsible, socially tolerant” policies, immigration agreements and broad tax reform did not appeal to Kanasas voters as much as Roberts military experience, “traditional Kansas values,” Kansas State Rifle Association endorsement, 100 percent National Right to Life rating and Gun Owners of America “A” rating. The Roberts campaign strategy featured advertisements accusing Orman of being a “closet Democrat,” as well as publisizing the Independent’s campaign donation records, which favored candidates from both of the two major parties.

Additionally, Gov. Sam Brownback will return to the Republican ranks alongside Roberts after bringing in 50 percent of the vote to secure a second round in the governor’s mansion. Brownback defeated Kansas Rep. Paul Davis’ (D) 46 percent.

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