Monday, September 17, 2018

Your Five Candidates for Kansas Governor

compiled by Kevin Surbaugh

Below I have compiled a brief biographical profile of each candidate.


Kris Kobach
Kris Kobach (file photo)

Birthday: March 26, 1966 (52 years old)
Marital Status: Married to Heather Kobach (17 years)
Children: 5 - Josephine, Lilly, Charlotte, Reagan, and Molly Kobach
Occupation: was a lawyer and law professor before being elected Secretary of State.
Education:  Washburn Rural High School, Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from Harvard University, M.A. and D.Phil. in Politics at the University of Oxford, earned a J.D. from Yale Law School

Kobach won a seat on the Overland Park, Kansas, City Council, in April 1999. He unsuccessfully ran for a state senate seat in 2000.  In 2004 Kobach unsuccessfully challenged then Congressman Dennis Moore.  In 2007, Kobach was elected Chairman of the Kansas Republican Party, a position he served for two years. Later in 2010, he was elected to his first of two terms as Secretary of State, a position he currently holds.  Kobach announced in June 2018 that he would run for Governor of Kansas against incumbent Governor Jeff Colyer. After a narrow primary victory, Kobach is running against Democrat Laura Kelly, Independents Greg Orman, and Rick Kloos, as well as Libertarian Jeff Caldwell in the general election.


Laura Kelly
Laura Kelly (file photo)

Birthday: January 24, 1950 (age 68)
Marital Status: Married to Dr. Ted Daughety (34 years)
Children: 2 - Kathleen and Molly Daughety
Occupation: prior to being elected State Senator, she was director of the Kansas Recreation and Park Association for 19 years and prior to that recreational therapist, which involved using recreation to help children with mental illness.
Education: Bradley University, Indiana University Bloomington

In 2005, Kelly was elected as a Democratic member of the Kansas Senate, representing the 18th District. Currently, she is the Senate Minority Whip, previously during the 2011-2012 Legislative Sessions, she served as the Kansas Senate Assistant Minority Leader.  In 2009 she briefly considered a run for Kansas's 2nd congressional district.


Jeff Caldwell
Jeff Caldwell (file Photo)
Birthday:  September 8, 1986 (age 32)
Marital Status:   Single
Children  0
Occupation  Sales 
Education:        Attended, Business, Johnson County Community College, 2008     
Attended, Business, University of Missouri-Kansas City, 2007     
Attended, Business, Benedictine College, 2006     
Attended, Business, Mid-America Nazarene University, 2005-2006

   Jeff has lived in the Kansas City area  his entire life and in Kansas for 20 years. Caldwell has been an executive member for the Libertarian Party of Kansas since 2010. He has been a volunteer and campaign manager for multiple campaigns over the years and has run for Kansas State House of Representative  three times. 
Among his accomplishments, he has helped with drafting, introducing, and passing legislation through the legislative process in Topeka. Jeff has been to the committee hearings to get the Kansas Safe Access Act [medical cannabis] out of hearing and onto the floor for vote  and has seen firsthand the corrupt politicians who stand in the way of allowing medical cannabis to move forward in Kansas. Caldwell helped with the process of creating the Kansas Education Liberty Act, which would bring school choice and funding from outside  of the state to education in Kansas. A major victory was scored when Jeff helped overturn Lenexa's city ordinance of banning open carry of firearms. Jeff Caldwell is the only candidate running to cut government spending, cut taxes, legalize cannabis and defend  the Second Amendment.


Rick Kloos
Rick Kloos (file photo)
Birthday: July 26, 1966 (52 years old)
Marital Status: Married to Pennie Kloos (33 years)
Children: 4 - Nathaniel Kloos (Also his Lt. Gov Running mate), Michael Kloos, Ricky Kloos, Matt Kloos
Occupation: Director of God's Storehouse in Topeka Kansas (

Kloos says,
I have come to appreciate this great state from my early years in rural Kansas by enjoying the outdoors -fishing, hunting and camping. As a teenager, I was known by the local farmers as “Mr. Stuck” because too many times I would get stuck mudding and have to be pulled out by one of the farmers with his tractor. At sixteen, I started driving a truck across Kansas, building my own business. I learned the value of hard work from my mother who is a German immigrant. I learned the art of negotiation from my stepdad, making my small business successful at a young age.  My wife and I graduated cum laude from Trinity College in North Dakota with a Bachelors in Theology and Ministerial Studies and served as clergy for nearly 30 years. I then continued my studies in substance abuse counseling at Washburn University and later received certification in ACPE which allowed me to serve both as a police and hospice chaplain in correctional facilities and clinical settings.  We have been in the Topeka community since May of 1998. In June of 2009, we started a non-profit thrift store employing a staff of 30. Its success is not credited to our leadership alone but in part to all our hardworking staff and volunteers. Pennie and I have been in public service almost all our lives. We realize that life is no longer about our dreams, visions and aspirations but it’s about our kids and our grandkids. It’s about their future and the generations to come. And this is where our next season in life begins. Our journey is about the passion we have for Kansas and the desire for it to be a place where we all can successfully live.
Kloos brands himself as a "Frustrated Republican," due to his previous party affiliation.
He recently told the media that his campaign adopted The White Buffalo as the Kloos for Kansas campaign symbol early on, due to the significance of the Buffalo as the Kansas State animal and the extreme rarity of White Buffalo. HIs campaign slogan is "Keep Kansas Home."
Kloos' 5 core platform points are: Support Education Redesign, Strengthen Agriculture & Aviation, Preserve Kansas' Appeal, Empower Local Governments & Unite Kansas through Bipartisan Efforts.

Gerg Orman
Greg Orman (file photo)

Birthday: December 2, 1968 (age 49 years)
Marital Status: Married to Sybil Orman (5 years)
Children: 2 -  Imogen and Sigrid Orman
Occupation: Businessman
Education:   Mankato East Senior High School in Mankato, Minnesota and Bachelor of Arts (BA) from Princeton University.

According to Wikipedia, Orman, who has never been elected has
at various times Orman has been registered as a Republican and a Democrat. He has been unaffiliated with a party since 2010. After a debate in 2014 he stated, "I've tried both parties; and, like most Kansans, I've been disappointed."
 Orman has made donations to both Democrats and Republican candidates. In 2006, while he was considering running as a Democrat for the Senate, he gave $1,000 to Harry Reid, and $4,600 to the 2008 presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Public records also show donations to Dennis Moore, Nancy Boyda and Al Franken. Orman has donated substantially more to political reform organizations. In 2012 he donated $25,000 to the independent political organization Americans Elect. He has also contributed $288,236 to the Common Sense Coalition.

Orman, Wikipedia reported was briefly a candidate for the 2008 Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate election in Kansas, but dropped out before the primary, saying
 "Whenever you run as a candidate in either party, there are certain constituencies that want you to behave and act and believe certain things. As I evaluated the race and looked at the positions I was going to have to take to get the support that was necessary to win, I just didn't feel comfortable taking those positions."

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