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Kansas Attorney General running for governor in 2022

Published: Mar. 9, 2021 at 7:41 AM CST
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is running for governor in 2022, according to a release by his campaign.

If Schmidt wins the republican nomination, he’ll face off against current Democratic Governor Laura Kelly.

Schmidt has been attorney general of Kansas since 2011.

Other Republicans who’ve announced they’re running for governor are former governor Jeff Colyer and businessman Chase LaPorte.

“I would certainly like to avoid a crowded primary because I think all of us share the goal of electing a Republican,” Schmidt said. “I’m going to be focused on making a case in trying to convince Kansans I’m the truest leader, proven winner, and Kansas conservative who can win this race and lead the state forward, not backwards.”

Last week, Colyer announced his plan to run in next year’s governor’s race with Mary Eisenhower, granddaughter of war hero and former president Dwight D. Eisenhower, as his campaign treasurer. Colyer’s made statements that he’s “a true conservative who always fights for Kansas values,” versus Schmidt, whom he claims to be a reactive moderate.

Wichita State University Political Science Department Chair Dr. Neal Allen said the race to represent the Republican Party for Kansas governor may continue to grow. In 2018, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly defeated Republican candidate Kris Kobach.

“Kobach has had such negative results in the past that it wouldn’t make a lot of sense for him to try again, particularly since Schmidt and Colyer are stronger candidates,” Dr. Allen said.

The Democratic Party in Kansas on Tuesday issued a statement in response to Schmidt’s announcement saying that the Kansas attorney general is “a cookie-cutter politician” who they said is “cut in the same mold as Sam Brownback and Kris Kobach.”

“For the Democrats, it’s hard to imagine anybody running against Governor Kelly. She is the most popular Democrat in Kansas,” Dr. Allen said.

So far, there are six people who have filed papers with the secretary of state but officially, June of 2022 is the deadline to file to be a candidate for next year’s primary in the Kansas governor’s race.

Dr. Allen said the governor’s seat likely will be decided based on how people feel about what’s happening at the federal level next year.

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