Former GOP Kansas Gov. Graves endorses Democratic nominee Laura Kelly


Kansas State Senator and Democratic candidate for governor Laura Kelly

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TOPEKA, Kan. — Former Republican Gov. Bill Graves has endorsed Democrat Laura Kelly in the Kansas governor’s race.

Kelly’s campaign announced the endorsement Monday and posted a YouTube video of Graves praising Kelly, a veteran state senator from Topeka. Graves says in the video that Kelly will bring Republicans and Democrats together to solve problems.

The former GOP governor’s endorsement came after the union representing firefighters in Kansas endorsed Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach last week. It previously has endorsed Democrats.

Kelly and independent candidate Greg Orman are wooing moderate Republicans alienated by Kobach’s conservative politics and advocacy of tough immigration policies.

Graves served two terms as governor from 1995 until 2003. He won re-election in 1998 with a record 73 percent of the vote but clashed frequently with GOP conservatives.

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