RELEASE: Schmidt guest column: This is why I want Kansas’ vote in the midterm election

TOPEKA – (October 21, 2022) – Kansas Attorney General and Republican Nominee for Governor Derek Schmidt has penned a guest column outlining his closing argument for voters as the campaign enters the final stretch. 

The column, presented in its entirety below, was first published online at, and is available for republication: 

By Derek Schmidt, Kansas Attorney General and Republican Nominee for Governor 

The late Republican Sen. Bob Dole used to tell me, “Kansans will show you the way, just listen.” 

Well, I’ve heard you loud and clear. Today, more Kansans than ever before tell me they’re genuinely worried about the direction and future of our country and our state. That’s largely because of the big-spending, big-government philosophy and out-of-touch policies of the national Democratic Party led by Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer.

Even Kansas has a Biden Democrat, Laura Kelly, in our governor’s office.

Sure,our current governor tries to hide behind a fake middle-of-the-road facade. But in a recent debate, I asked if she really believes that America and Kansas are better off today under President Biden.

Her response: “I’m not going to answer that question.”

That evasion tells you all you need to know. This election is about changing course from the party of Joe Biden and Laura Kelly. That requires holding my opponent accountable for her harmful actions stemming from their shared governing philosophy.

Kansas needs a new governor who will make daily life more affordable during this time of record high gas prices, soaring grocery bills, and a lagging state economy. But my out-of-touch opponent said of Biden’s looming recession: “Bring it on.” She vetoed 20 tax cuts — including the grocery tax cut. If she had just signed into law the bill Republicans put on her desk in 2019, our grocery tax would be cut in half today on its way to zero in January.

Her lockdowns destroyed 157,000 jobs she declared “non-essential,” and Kansas still lags the nation in job recovery with more than 21,000 fewer working today than four years ago.

Then our governor failed to help unemployed Kansans while simultaneously losing more than $450 million in taxpayer money to fraudsters through sheer incompetence. 

Two years later, Kansans still face insurmountable wait times when they call for help, and many are having their wages garnished for unemployment benefits cashed in their name by fraudsters.

Kansas needs a new governor who will always put kids and parents first in education. Our current self-proclaimed “education governor,” who rushed to lock kids out of their classrooms and then tried to extend school lock downs over the objections of parents and medical experts alike, has done more damage to more of our children than any other governor in state history.

More than a third of Kansas students are testing below grade level in math and reading, and a full one-third of Kansas teens are considering suicide – a 40% increase since 2015. More than 15,000 students have fled our public school system, and Kansas faces our worst teacher shortage in the history of our state. 

And she still isn’t listening, insisting she makes “absolutely no apologies” for her lock downs. I’ve heard so many heartbreaking stories from Kansans who deserve an apology and so much more. And although more parents are demanding a greater role in their kids’ education and upbringing, our governor dismissed their concerns as a “nothingburger” and even vetoed the Parents Bill of Rights calling it “the worst thing we can possibly be doing.”

Kansas needs a new governor who keeps us safe by standing with the honorable men and women in law enforcement. But my opponent, in response to the Defund the Police riots in 2020, empowered a hand-picked commission on race equity to push anti-police policies. 

She accused Kansas law enforcement of “systemic racism.” Even law enforcement who previously supported her are now calling for change.

Kansas needs a new governor who shares commonsense values and will defend our liberties.

I will sign the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which my opponent twice vetoed, then pretended to support, then flip-flopped back to opposing. She won’t fight for Second Amendment rights, but I do. She won’t stand up against Biden’s policies that hurt Kansas, but I will.

Now, it’s election time. And the party of Joe Biden and Laura Kelly – who brought us all these bad decisions plus big-government inflation that is crushing family budgets – wants Kansans’ votes again.

Kansans deserve better.

As your governor, I’ll work with both political parties in the Legislature to fix those wrong decisions, to address their consequences, and to accomplish our detailed plan of action for a better Kansas in the first 100 days of our administration.

We’ll focus relentlessly on making daily life more affordable for Kansans, putting parents and students first in education, building safer and healthier communities, and growing our economy and population faster than our government. 

It’s time to move Kansas forward. In my view, Republican leadership with common sense and conservative values offers Kansans a better future. I would be honored to receive your vote.