Independent candidate Greg Orman plunges into the advertising swarm of the Kansas governor's race Monday with a 30-second spot illustrating with a trip to the grocery store why adherence to a two-party, Republican-versus-Democrat political system no longer nourishes people.

At one point in the ad, a shopper holds up bundles of red carrots and blue carrots to depict frustration with the familiar red-state, blue-state model.

"We never settle for just two lousy choices in anything except politics," Orman says. "We're a broken two-party system. It doesn't have to be like this."

The media buy by Orman reflects the independent's plan to make an impression as the state approaches the Aug. 7 primary, even though he wouldn't be on ballots until November.

Candidates for statewide office and Congress are eager to make their presence felt on television, radio and the internet to reach voters deciding what to do in contested GOP and Democratic primaries. Not all candidates can afford TV time, but their video appeals are available online.

Democratic Sen. Laura Kelly, seeking the party's nomination for governor, recently began broadcasting an ad titled "Restore." With children playing in the background, Kelly says she was the daughter of a military officer who chose to raise her own family in Topeka. The commercial emphasizes a commitment to public education before pivoting to attack former Gov. Sam Brownback.

"Sam Brownback's massive education cuts weren't numbers on a spreadsheet," she says. "They were an attack on who we are as Kansans. That's why I'm running for governor — not just to restore funding, to restore what makes our state special."

Former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer, another Democratic candidate, opens a commercial by walking up steps of the Kansas Capitol. He calls upon Kansans to walk with him in a campaign to transform state government.

"I can assure on the day I am sworn in that you will go up these steps with me and we'll do this together," he promises.

So far, the biggest players have been Gov. Jeff Colyer and Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Kobach has repeatedly pounded away at the topic of illegal immigration. He also makes a promise to reduce property, income and sales taxes in Kansas, but doesn't acknowledge the Kansas Legislature's capacity to easily thwart that agenda.

While Brownback and legislators cut income taxes in 2012, the sales tax was increased in 2015 and income taxes surged in 2017 to balance the state budget.

"What we're going to do is roll back the income tax hikes, the sales tax hikes and put real limits on mill levy increases, and we'll also restrict appraisal increases," Kobach says.

Colyer's ads respond to immigration and tax issues raised by Kobach and the education attacks on the Brownback-Colyer administrations, but the governor strives to present himself as someone keen to solve problems rather than light rhetorical fireworks. He notes endorsements from gun and farming groups.

"Kris Kobach calls more funding for education a disaster and says he needs the power to punish schools," the Colyer ad proclaims. "Gov. Jeff Colyer is a real conservative who found solutions for our schools, getting money to the classroom with tough accountability standards."

Ken Selzer, the state's insurance commissioner and a Republican candidate for governor, target Kobach and Colyer by portraying his GOP rivals as two peas in a pod and unfit for consumption by voters.

"Want more of the same?" Selzer says. "If you're like me, you've had enough and want to actually fix what's broken."

Former Sen. Jim Barnett, another in the GOP field, relies upon testimonials from supporters of his campaign. He offers up Kansans praising his support of public education and expansion of Medicaid to the uninsured.

In addition to Orman's ad featuring grocery shopping, Democrat Josh Svaty and Republican Patrick Kucera delved into humor.

Svaty takes a low-tech approach to explain how to navigate his name. He runs through flash cards with difficult-to-pronounce last names.

"The thing to remember here is the 'V' sounds like a 'W.' Kind of like Svoboda, but when you get to Zvolanek even the Czechs have a hard time putting the 'Z' and 'V' together," Svaty says. "The important thing is, I don't care if you mess my name up, but I'd really appreciate your vote."

Kucera posted a lengthy production that opens with a deep-register voice promising Kucera stood for economic growth and solid values. Kucera breaks character to poke fun at politicians by showing himself speaking with elderly people "because seniors vote," walking through a warehouse in a hard hat with his sleeves rolled up, and playing a board game at home with his family.

"If you're looking for a typical politician, I'm probably not your guy," Kucera says. "I'm a lot like you. I've never held office. I've never even run for office. Today, I believe political experience is the worst kind of experience."