PITTSBURG — Greg Orman isn’t a typical politician, and he doesn’t have a problem with that.
Orman, who is running for Kansas governor as an independent, prefers to be known as an entrepreneur and businessman. During his statewide bus tour Orman stopped by Pittsburg and sat for an interview where he explained his ideas, background, and why he feels he would be a good choice for the governor seat.
Orman’s primary background is as a business owner. He graduated from Princeton in 1991 and founded a lighting system company which was later purchased by Kansas City Power and Light. He has been involved in several businesses, including the private equity firm Denali Partners. Most recently Orman has been involved in a sporting goods company, Ringside, Inc.
“I’ve spent my life building, growing, and turning around businesses,” Orman said.
Although he has some political experience, running in the 2008 Kansas Senate race and the 2014 Kansas Senate Race, Orman is quick to point out that he doesn’t think the party system works well for Kansans. He said that unlike Democrats who want more taxes and spending, or Republicans who are looking for smaller government, he feels an overhaul of the current system is a better choice.
“I don’t want big government with lots of taxes,” Orman said. “I don’t want to starve government, I want better government,” Orman said.
Orman said the Highway 69 project is a priority for him, and he will commit to seeing it finished. He also said he felt more transparency in government is important for the state.
The Morning Sun, in an editorial last month demanded that all three gubernatorial candidates pledge to fulfill outgoing Governor Jeff Colyer’s promise to complete the 69 expansion at least as far south as the Cherokee County line. To date, Orman is the only candidate to do so.
Orman said he feels Kansas needs to follow the lead of other states and expand Medicare. When asked about what steps he would take to fix lack of affordable accessible mental health care Orman was quick to point to the need to accept the federal money offered.
“We’ve had hundreds of millions of dollars available in federal health care dollars that we’ve rejected, and we’ve rejected it on a partisan basis,” Orman said.
He also said that the state needs to focus on how to help people who suffer from addiction problems, and people of low income who can not afford proper medical care. He also stressed the importance of care being offered in people’s “home communities, where they have the benefit of their support networks.”
He also supports treating marijuana like a speeding ticket, and allowing medical marijuana in the state.
“I think any provider who is able to prescribe a Schedule 2 narcotic should be legally entitled to prescribe medical marijuana,” he said.
Orman is currently struggling in the polls. According to a recent story in the Topeka Capital-Journal an online poll by Civiqs, a polling and data analytics firm, Orman is polling at just 9 percent. Although according to the article Orman’s team does dispute those numbers.
Orman is married with two daughters Imogen and Sigrid. The family lives in Fairway, Kansas.