Sunday, September 9, 2018

Former GOP Governor Graves Endorses Democrat Laura Kelly

Kevin Surbaugh

Former Republican Governor Bill Graves on Tuesday formally endorsed Democrat Laura Kelly in the 2018 race for Kansas governor. His endorsement makes him the most prominent moderate Republican to make such an endorsement in this election cycle.
The endorsement, which came in a video that was tweeted by the Kelly campaign, stirred a lot of conversation among Republicans and Democrats alike. The video, which appeared to look like a television commercial, is for social media only, the Kelly campaign told the Gazette.
In his video statement, Graves said,

I have been a Republican my entire life and inherited that from my father in my mother Laura Kelly is the only Democrat I have ever endorsed for public office and the reason I'm doing that now is because I believe so much is at stake in the state of Kansas and it's going to take someone with some very capable leadership skills someone who is willing to work across the aisle and be part of solutions to problems with education problems with our health care system problems with the state's infrastructure problems with Public Safety Laura to me has all equalities all the capabilities that we're looking for to lead the state during this difficult time to reestablish the state to what it once was laura has integrity I know she'll bring Republicans and Democrats together to solve problems

Upon hearing the news Republican Senator Susan Wagle tweeted,
Bill Graves never governed as a Republican and spent his career undermining Republican candidates and values. This endorsement is far from news breaking.

Independent candidate Greg Orman seized upon the message that Graves said that, “Laura Kelly is the only Democrat I have ever endorsed for public office.”
The truth Orman said is, in 2016 Bill Graves endorsed the following four Democrats. Why the deception in the statement today?     
  1. Adrienne Olejnik, District 51     
  2. Gerrett Morris, District 69     
  3. Don Shimkus, District 32         
  4. Tom Sawyer, District 95
While Orman's statement may be accurate, the fact is that Kelly would be the first statewide candidate that Graves has endorsed. Graves is retired currently lives with his family in Northern Virginia.

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