Multiple notable Republicans crossed party lines to support the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, including a former state senator from Manhattan.
Former Kansas Senate Majority Leader Lana Oleen, who represented senate district 22 which includes much of Manhattan, joined 26 other Kansas Republicans to support Senator Laura Kelly’s campaign. Oleen served in the state senate from 1989 to 2004.
Also on the list included in a press release from the Kelly campaign were former Lt. Gov. Sheila Frahm, former Lt. Gov Garry Sherrer, and former Senate Presidents Dick Bond and Dave Kerr. Former Republican Governor Bill Graves is also among GOP politicians recently endorsing their support for the Democratic candidate.
Their announcement comes weeks after Kansas House Majority Leader Don Hineman warned Republican officeholders that support for Kelly “could well be a career-ending move for anyone who chose to do so.”
Bond, who served in the state senate from 1986 to 2001, said he views Kelly as a candidate with “a record of bringing people together to solve problems with bipartisan solutions” and that Kobach wants to “repeat the Brownback experiment.”
“He will take those dangerous policies even further and devastate Kansas.”
Frahm, who is also a former U.S. senator, said she worked with Kelly to “end the Brownback experiment” and that she will “put the best interests of our families first.”
“She will bring Kansans together to rebuild our state,” Frahm said in a statement. “Not only that, she will slam the door on the failed policies of Sam Brownback.”
Sherrer, who was in office from 1996 to 2003, described Kelly as a “level-headed problem solver” who has “demonstrated a commonsense Kansas approach to dealing with critical issues.”
“Laura will be a fiscally responsible governor who focuses on the needs of our communities – schools, roads, healthcare, and jobs,” Sherrer said.