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Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt Makes His 2022 Run For Governor Official

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt takes the oath of office on the steps of the Kansas Capitol on Jan. 14, 2019.
Nomin Ujiyediin
Kansas News Service
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt takes the oath of office on the steps of the Kansas Capitol on Jan. 14, 2019.

Although the election for Kansas governor is more than a year away, prominent Republicans are already lining up to challenge Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly.

Republican Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced Tuesday he’s running for governor.

In a campaignvideo posted to YouTube, Schmidt promised “to be your common-sense conservative voice.”

Schmidt criticized Democratic Governor Laura Kelly while touting his own success challenging the Obama administration.

Schmidt also highlighted his support for former President Donald Trump, saying he defended “President Trump’s America First agenda with its pro-growth and pro-jobs policies.”

Schmidt, now in this third term as the state's chief legal officer, has raised his profile in the Republican Party by joining battles over the 2020 election results, including a lawsuit that challenged the legitimacy of President Biden’s win over former Trump. That lawsuit was dismissed by the Supreme Court in December.

Pressed by the Associated Press about Trump and other Republicans promoting a false narrative about widespread voter fraud, Schmidt said that he is leaving “factual disputes” to others.

Schmidt has been the Kansas attorney general since 2010. Before that, he represented southeast Kansas in the state Senate.

He is the second high-profile Republican to show interest in taking on Kelly.

Last week, former Gov. Jeff Coyler from Overland Park said he had hired the granddaughter of President Dwight Eisenhower, Mary Eisenhower, as campaign treasurer, although Colyer has not formally announced his candidacy.

On Tuesday, Colyer issued a statement criticizing Schmidt as the less conservative option, because he's worked for moderates in the party like former Kansas Sen. Nancy Kassebaum and Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel.

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