Olathe entrepreneur Greg Orman officially launched an independent gubernatorial campaign Wednesday emphasizing the necessity of placing the modern era's raucous partisan politics aside to sustain policies delivering economic growth, access to health care and government transparency to Kansans.

Orman catapulted to political prominence four years ago during a nonpartisan bid to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts.

He’s the first of two-dozen aspirants in the 2018 governor’s race to step away from the exploratory phase and jump in with both feet.

“At the end of the day,” he said in an interview Tuesday, “me being politically independent is not about ideology. It’s about putting my state and my country ahead of a political party. It’s about using facts and common sense to solve problems, and not just clinging to rigid ideological solutions, even when they’re not working. And, importantly, it’s about being free from obligations to party bosses and special interests.”

Orman, 49, raised $452,000 during 26 days in December after setting up the exploratory committee. His Dec. 31 campaign finance report shows more receipts from in-state contributors than every Democratic candidate and more contributions from individual Kansas donors than all but two Republicans. He’s sworn off donations from political action committees and lobbying organizations.

Orman grew up in Minnesota and became a Kansan by virtue of working in his father’s business in Stanley. He’s married to Sybil, a former public school teacher. They have two daughters, Imogen, 2, and Sigrid, born seven weeks ago.