Independent Senate Candidate Greg Orman brought his message of “breaking the gridlock” to supporters in Salina on Saturday afternoon. Orman, who is in a tight race with incumbent three-term Republican U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, spoke to a gathering of about 50 people in Downtown Salina.
Orman told the group that voters in Kansas on Tuesday will have a chance to send a very clear message to the rest of the country. He said “it’s a real choice here between the status quo, a Washington that is mired in gridlock and doesn’t get anything done, or a new way forward in which problem solving takes precedence”.
Orman, who is running as an independent but has been criticized by Republicans as really being a Democrat, told the media afterwards that his record over his lifetime shows that he has spent the majority of it as an independent. He added that he would not have a loyalty to either party, saying “I would not support Harry Reid or Mitch McConnell for Majority Leader”.
The campaign in the last couple of days has taken a twist, with Orman drawing criticism for a “clown car” comment in reference to a Republican tour and Roberts using K-State football coach Bill Snyder in a campaign commercial without Snyder’s knowledge or consent, according to an internal e-mail from the university’s president to other campus officials. Orman said that he thinks it’s unfortunate when so many Kansans want to talk about real issues, about how we break the gridlock in Washington and get back into the business of solving problems, we “get distracted by issues like these”.
The campaign is drawing national interest, and the stop in Salina attracted national media. Fox News Channel’s Washington-based chief political correspondent Carl Cameron was at the Salina event.