Kansas AG launches campaign for governor

GOP Attorney General Derek Schmidt launched his campaign for governor. He increased his visibility during the coronavirus pandemic by opposing Gov. Kelly's handling of restrictions, and sided with Republicans who spread former President Donald Trump's unfounded allegations of voter fraud.

By

State News

March 9, 2021 - 9:41 AM

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt launched his campaign for governor on Tuesday after weeks of heightened visibility for the three-term Republican amid the GOP-controlled Legislature’s debates over Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Schmidt, 53, is the first major Republican to formally enter the race against Kelly in 2022, though former GOP Gov. Jeff Colyer on Friday signaled his plans to run by naming a granddaughter of President Dwight Eisenhower as the treasurer for “our campaign.”

Top Republican lawmakers said they haven’t intentionally been trying to boost Schmidt’s visibility by pushing legislation that would give the attorney general a check on the governor’s power during future emergencies. Schmidt has clashed with Kelly during the pandemic, including by objecting to her unsuccessful attempt last spring to restrict indoor religious services.

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