A.G. Derek Schmidt announces run for Kansas governor
Schmidt throws his hat into the 2022 ring
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt ended speculation about his political future, announcing early Tuesday he will run for governor.
“Today I’m announcing my campaign for governor with a mission to be your common sense, conservative voice and to fight every day for your family and our way of life,” Schmidt said in an online video announcing his campaign.
Schmidt, a Republican, was elected Attorney General in 2010, defeating incumbent Democrat Steve Six. He was re-elected in 2014 and 2018, to become the second-longest serving Attorney General in state history.
Prior to being elected AG, Schmidt served as a Kansas State Senator, representing the Independence area in southeast Kansas. He chaired the Senate’s Agriculture Committee and was the chamber’s Majority Leader.
Republicans are vying for a chance to challenge Democratic incumbent Gov. Laura Kelly’s bid for a second term.
Schmidt said Kansas voters deserve a Republican governor who moves the state forward, not back, and leaves stale and unproductive fights behind.
In the video he also criticized the Kelly administration saying they lost hundreds of millions of tax dollars to unemployment fraudsters while Kansans in need waited for months, insisted on vaccinating healthy young prisoners before high-risk law-abiding seniors, and ordered local businesses, schools and churches closed instead of trusting Kansans.
Schmidt said if elected governor he would focus on making Kansas a state where hard work is rewarded, where the question is how to grow Kansas and not the government, and where the state operates efficiently and effectively.
”I believe in a bright Kansas future, with a climate of opportunity that grows our state and encourages our children to stay in Kansas and pursue their dreams,” Schmidt continued saying, “As your governor, I’ll fight every day to leave Kansas a better place than I found it, for my family and for yours.”
The Kansas Democratic Party responded, saying Schmidt is no more than a copy of Sam Brownback and Kris Kobach.
“Derek Schmidt is a cookie-cutter politician cut in the same mold as Sam Brownback and Kris Kobach. He has traded official favors for campaign contributions, spread lies about the legitimacy of our elections to win political favor with the far-right members of his party, and cost Kansas taxpayer millions of dollars defending Kobach’s unconstitutional lawsuits,” said KDP Chair Vicki Hiatt. “Returning to Brownback’s failed policies of broken budgets and underfunded public schools would sabotage Kansas’ economic recovery from COVID-19 and hurt students returning to school and trying to make up for lost time.”
“Unlike Schmidt, Governor Kelly has consistently shown strong leadership during very challenging times,” Hiatt continued. “First, she came into office and cleaned up the Brownback mess – balancing the budget and fully funding our schools, all without a tax increase. Now she’s making sure Kansans recover from COVID-19 and get back on their feet.”
Former Governor Jeff Colyer, who has signaled that he will run against Schmidt in the primary election, welcomed Schmidt to the race by highlighting the difference in their records and approaches to issues.
“I welcome Derek Schmidt to the Governor’s race,” said Colyer. “It’s good that Kansas voters will now have a clear choice between me, the conservative candidate, and Derek Schmidt who has spent over twenty years carrying water for the most liberal elements of the Kansas Republican Party. I started my public service working for President Reagan, a conservative hero. Derek Schmidt worked for two US Senators—one of whom served in the Obama Cabinet and the other endorsed Barbara Bollier last year and Laura Kelly before that. Throughout my service in the Legislature and in the executive branch I’ve been 100% pro-life, pro-Second Amendment and against tax increases. I’m the authentic conservative in this race. There’s a big difference in our records and our approaches to issues. I look forward to a great campaign.”
Current Governor Laura Kelly, who will run against either Schmidt or Colyer in the general election, said she remains focused on Kansans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Governor Kelly remains focused on restoring and growing Kansas’ economy after the damage done by COVID and the Brownback-Colyer Administration, not on an election that’s two years away,” said Gov. Kelly.
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