Gov. Laura Kelly defeats state Attorney General Derek Schmidt as she won second term in Kansas.
(Politico) – Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly won a second term in Kansas, defeating state Attorney General Derek Schmidt in one of the nation’s most competitive gubernatorial races.
On the campaign trail, Kelly and Schmidt each tried to latch one another to unfavorable figures in their parties. Kelly compared Schmidt to former Gov. Sam Brownback, whose tax cut plan triggered severe reductions in school funding. Schmidt compared Kelly to Joe Biden and focused on the president’s low approval ratings — despite Kelly’s disagreement with Biden on various topics, particularly the coronavirus vaccine.
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Kelly ran as a centrist who is willing to work with both parties, particularly on health care and education. She noted she has balanced the budget and improved the state’s economy by attracting new businesses. Schmidt ran on a parents’ rights campaign. He promised to give more power to parents to control what’s being taught in schools — such as the ability to remove critical race theory and “woke” ideology from curricula.
Kelly got a boost in August when Kansas voters overwhelmingly chose to protect their abortion rights in a ballot measure that followed the Supreme Court’s decision months earlier to overturn Roe v. Wade. She started airing ads in April, whereas Schmidt waited until the end of August.
Schmidt promised to return conservative leadership to Kansas. He pledged to ban abortion across the state and received endorsements from both former President Donald Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence.