RELEASE: Schmidt wins support from several small business organizations

TOPEKA – (November 1, 2022) – Kansas Attorney General and Republican Nominee for Governor Derek Schmidt has been endorsed by the Associated Builders and Contractors Heart of America and the Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association (KRHA), and has also received the recommendation of the Wichita Area Builders Association (WABA).

“I’m proud to be the small business candidate for governor in this race,” Schmidt said. “Kansas can do so much better than the Kelly-Biden policies that have stifled job creation, reduced the size of our workforce, and increased the cost of daily life for every Kansan. In the Schmidt administration, we will make sure Kansas is the best place to start and grow a small business in America.” 

Ben Stallings, ABC Heart of America Board Chair, offered the following statement

“Kansas deserves a leader who is interested in equal opportunity for the entire construction industry, including the 91 percent of Kansas construction companies who choose not to join a labor union. We know Schmidt will work tirelessly to enact sound policy initiatives that support free and open competition and workforce development opportunities for all Kansans.”

Adam Mills, President of KRHA, offered the following statement

“Derek shares the values a governor needs to help our smallest businesses have a fighting chance to succeed in Kansas. Our Association is acutely aware of the burden higher taxes will place on our member businesses, Kansas families and our member businesses cannot afford that. For these reasons we are proud to endorse the candidate we trust who will help our industry in the face of rapid inflation.”

Along with recommending Schmidt in the governor’s race, President and CEO of WABA Wess Galyon said the organization looks forward to working with Schmidt and his administration post-election. 

The state’s biggest advocacy organizations representing job creators are backing Schmidt’s campaign. In addition to ABC Heart of America, KRHA, and WABA, Schmidt has been endorsed by the Kansas Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee and the National Federation of Independent Business Kansas Chapter, and also has received support from the Wichita Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee.  

Because of Governor Laura Kelly’s policies, the Kansas economy ranks among the worst in the country. 

During the pandemic, Kelly’s lockdowns killed 157,000 jobs, and nearly one in five of them still haven’t come back despite most other states and the county as a whole having recovered all jobs lost. Kansas is now ranked 46thout of 50 states in America in pandemic job recovery. 

Kelly’s lockdowns specifically hit the restaurant and hospitality industry hard, with nearly half of all restaurants and hotels in Kansas closing due to the governor’s policies. In its statement, KRHA noted “an estimated 800 fewer food licensees are doing business in Kansas now than prior to the pandemic. The effects of the COVID pandemic and Governor Kelly’s response to it will continue to impact the hospitality industry long after we have regained our healthcare footing as wholesale food costs have risen 15.3% and labor costs are up 10.8%.”

On overall economic growth, Kansas ranked 48th of 50 states in 2021, and ranked 40th of 50 states in growth over the two year period between 2020 and 2021.

Schmidt has proposed “Retire Tax Free”, a plan to eliminate state income tax on Social Security, pensions, 401k’s, IRA’s, annuities and other retirement vehicles to grow Kansas and address the economic stagnation, population decline, and outmigration that have been hallmarks of Kelly’s tenure. Schmidt has also proposed other policies in his Plan for a Better Kansas that will create a more small business-friendly environment in Kansas.