No Republican — and I am a Republican precinct committee person — who is too repulsed by Kris Kobach to vote for him for governor should vote for Greg Orman as a protest vote.

No candidate for governor will receive more than 50 percent of the vote. Kobach’s only hope to be elected is that he receives 44 percent of the vote, Laura Kelly receives 43 percent — like the 343-vote margin by which Kobach won the Republican primary — Orman receives 10 percent, and the two other candidates receive 3 percent combined. I’m sure a handful of Orman voters have Kobach as their second choice, but the overwhelming majority surely have Laura Kelly as their second choice.

I have cast “protest” votes for independent candidates when it didn’t matter in Kansas – e.g. John Anderson for President in 1980. I even voted for Greg Orman as an Independent candidate in the 2014 election. But however much a voter might want to protest the dominance of the two-party system, a vote for Orman this year is in effect a vote for Kobach.

I have been a law professor in Kansas for 46 years. I have been appalled by the countless statutes and ordinances Kobach has drafted and defended at taxpayer expense which make scapegoats of the most defenseless among us and seek for partisan advantage to suppress the vote. Courts have been forced by their obligation under the rule of law to declare Kobach’s statutes and ordinances unconstitutional.

I also am appalled that Kobach’s conduct forced a respected Kansas federal judge to order Kobach to pay a fine for contempt of court. No one in Kansas in my professional career has demonstrated the contempt that Kobach has for the separation of powers and the rule of law that are essential to our survival as a democracy.

Everyone who appreciates the risk to democracy that Kobach poses should vote for Laura Kelly and must not effectively vote for Kobach by voting as a protest for Orman.


James M. Concannon,


James is a 1964 graduate of Garden City High School.