Kansas governor candidates trade barbs, talk immigration at Topeka forum

AP News Staff
September 06, 2018 - 4:52 am

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - One of Republican Kris Kobach's main opponents says he's not qualified to be Kansas governor because of his tough stance on illegal immigration.

Independent candidate Greg Orman said Wednesday during a candidate forum that Kobach does not understand how the state's agricultural economy relies on immigrant labor.

Orman, a Kansas City-area businessman, and the Democratic nominee, state Sen. Laura Kelly of Topeka, said illegal immigration is largely a federal issue that requires comprehensive reforms from Washington.

Kobach brushed off the criticism. He has made fighting illegal immigration a key issue in his campaign and argued that states can set policies to discourage it. He said he would be the first governor to seriously tackle the issue.

Orman told Kobach that immigration is only a "red meat issue" for fellow conservatives.

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