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Jeff Colyer drops out of Governor’s race, endorses Derek Schmidt

Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 12:23 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Jeff Colyer announced Monday he is ending his campaign for Governor to be treated for prostate cancer and focus on his medical practice.

“While I have always focused on helping others, for the next few weeks I am going to focus on my health,” Colyer said. “I was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer like my father and grandfather. After treatment, I am confident I will have a full recovery. Given these challenges, Ruth and I have decided to withdraw from the Governor’s race.”

Colyer also gave his endorsement to Attorney General Derek Schmidt in his candidacy for Governor.

“Kansas has felt the pain of nearly three years of Governor Kelly’s leadership,” Colyer continued saying, “Now it’s time for Republicans to come together, rally around Derek Schmidt, and reclaim Cedar Crest.”

In a statement, Schmidt said he wished Colyer the best in overcoming his health challenges.

“Jeff Colyer is a longtime friend who has led an exemplary life of service,” Schmidt said. “As for the governor’s race, I welcome and appreciate Gov. Colyer’s endorsement and agree that now is the time to come together to elect a Republican governor for Kansas next year.”

Kelly added her thoughts in a tweet that stated, “Dr. Colyer and I may have our disagreements. But one thing we can all agree on: the need to defeat cancer. Wishing him a quick recovery.”

Colyer was the 47th Governor of Kansas and is the longest-serving Lt. Governor in state history.

He said, “I believe God put us here to make a difference in people’s lives. I chose to be a doctor to help people and am humbled to serve my fellow Kansans as Governor and Lt. Governor to fight for this wonderful place we call home.”

In response to Colyer dropping out of the race, the Kansas GOP released a statement.

“The Kansas Republican Party wishes Governor Jeff Colyer all the best as he and his family focus on his health. Governor Colyer has served Kansas well and Kansas Republicans are very appreciative of his years of service,” Kansas Republican Party Chairman Mike Kuckelman said.

“Today, Kansas Republicans are unified in their desire to defeat Governor Laura Kelly. We’ve seen firsthand that elections have consequences. From trailing the rest of the country in economic recovery after the pandemic to a Department of Labor plagued with constant failure, Laura Kelly has proven she is unfit to lead. In 2022, we will be returning commonsense and conservative leadership to the governor’s office.”

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