Voters react to final debate between Kansas gubernatorial candidates


The three leading candidates for governor faced off for the final time before the general election.

Republican Kris Kobach, Democrat Laura Kelly and Independent Greg Orman were in the KSN studio Tuesday night, sharing their stances on important topics to Kansans, like education funding, taxes and gun control.

“We need the right to protect ourselves and both of my opponents have voted, have said in the case of Greg Orman or voted in the case of Laura Kelly to restrict our gun rights,” said Kobach. “That’s why Laura Kelly has an F from the NRA and I have an A+.”

“I also think that most Kansas gun owners in Kansas believe that we need to reinstate some common sense gun policy to ensure the safety of our kids, safety in our schools and safety in our homes,” said Kelly.

“Today in Kansas, we require 1,000 hours of training to legally wax an eyebrow and yet anybody can carry a concealed weapon now without a minute’s worth of safety training. and I think that’s a mistake,” said Orman. 

So what do voters think of the debate?

KSN had a conservative, democrat and unaffiliated voter at the studios watching the debate.

Right now, polls show neither Orman, Kelly or Kobach with a majority in the polls, as the three candidates talked about how close the race is.

And, Orman talked about why he entered the race.

“I don’t particularly care who the author of an idea really is,” he said. “I care whether or not it’s a good idea. And so, as an Independent, I can work with both sides.” 

With it being a near dead heat between Kelly and Kobach, they shared how they will lead Kansas without having won a majority of the vote. 

“I can reach across the aisle and make the case for the policies that we need in Kansas,” said Kobach. “And, I’ll be making the case that our taxes are way too high. We’re the highest tax state in the five state area.”

“I will be able to bring people together,” said Kelly. “I have always done that in my Senate career. It’s clear from the support that I’ve gotten across the board with moderate Republicans as prominent as Governor Bill Graves.”

Watching the debate at KSN, were Republican Mark Baker, Democrat Chris Pumpelly and unaffiliated voter Tyler Springer. 

We asked them if any of the answers help them decide their vote.

“The criminals are going to do whatever they need to do to commit the crimes, whether it’s with a gun or a knife or a car,” said Baker. “Whatever it is they’re going to continue to do that, the law abiding gun owners are not the problem. So Kris Kobach, that’s one of the reasons I like his stance.”

“The economy is a big one and Greg Orman talked very well about it,” said Springer. “Education is a big one because Kansas has a lot of teachers a lot of them don’t get help, a lot of special education that needs help.”

“On education, on the proper view of taxation, the proper role of government, on competent state of government, Laura Kelly, far and away in this year of all years, with these candidates is clearly the right choice.”

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