Where We Stand
Derek Schmidt and Katie Sawyer on the Issues
We’ve traveled to communities in every county of this state and listened to what’s important to you. Here’s where we stand on several issues Kansans tell us are important:
Every Kansas child deserves an opportunity for the best education to unlock his or her God-given potential.
We will never again shut down Kansas schools, a mistake that increased suicidal ideation and the need for mental health interventions, and decreased student achievement.
- Read more: Laura Kelly calls herself the ‘education governor.’ Derek Schmidt says she broke promises to Kansas
We will fully fund K-12 public schools as required by the Kansas constitution, increase the ability for all families to choose the best education option for their child, support school safety, and put parents and kids first in every education decision.
Kansas kids need career skills, and job creators need a bigger and stronger workforce. We strongly support post-secondary education, including our public and private colleges and universities and our community colleges and technical schools.
Kansas students should receive a strong civics education that passes along the heritage of our great country to the next generation. Critical race theory and ‘woke’ ideology have no place in our schools.
Pro Work, Pro Jobs, Pro Economic Growth
We believe that there is dignity in work and that able-bodied adults who can work, should work in order to qualify for welfare benefits or other public assistance. It’s common sense.
We believe Kansas needs to prioritize entrepreneurship, support existing businesses, develop and expand our workforce, build a climate of opportunity that encourages investment, identify and pursue specific investment opportunities as they arise, and partner with local leaders in support of their economic development priorities.
Sadly, almost 20,000 fewer Kansans are employed in our state today than four years ago, and Kansas is one of the worst-performing states in recovering the more than 157,000 jobs destroyed during Governor Kelly’s COVID-19 lockdowns. Kansas must never repeat her disastrous decision to deem certain jobs “essential” and others “non-essential.” Every job and every paycheck is essential.
As Attorney General, Derek has been an unwavering supporter of law-and-order. We understand that the safety of our communities requires a wide-ranging focus – from supporting law enforcement, to standing strong against violent crime, to improving drug-and-alcohol treatment and mental health services, to securing the southern border of the United States where deadly fentanyl and other illicit drugs make their way into our country bound for Kansas communities. Kansas children must be able to grow up in safe and supportive communities with measures and structures in place to prevent and respond to abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence.
- Read more: Schmidt offers strategies for moderating threat of firearm violence in Kansas schools
- Endorsed by Fraternal Order of Police-Kansas State Lodge
- Endorsed by Kansas State Troopers Association
- Endorsed by 25+ Kansas sheriffs
- Endorsed by National Border Patrol Council
- Endorsed by National Latino Peace Officers Association-Advocacy
We are strong supporters of investing in transportation infrastructure to help Kansas grow. In addition to seeing current projects to completion, prioritizing the completion of a four-lane highway across Southern Kansas would revitalize the entire region, help existing Kansas small businesses grow, and attract real economic development opportunities that right now are not available.
- Read more: Schmidt proposes construction of four-lane highway linking Pittsburg to Garden City, Liberal
Additionally, we oppose diverting dedicated transportation funds for other purposes and support a constitutional amendment to protect transportation funding so it can never again be raided to pay for other state spending priorities. Read more: Schmidt proposes trust fund to keep Kansas transportation money from being raided
Pro-Fiscal Responsibility and Government Accountability
State spending in Kansas has exploded in the past four years faster than ever before. The cost of that spending spree has been hidden by the flood of Biden Bailout money, but that money eventually will go away – and the higher state budgets will remain.
We need Kansas family budgets to grow more, and state government budgets to grow less. Derek successfully proposed reducing or eliminating the state sales tax on groceries, which will be phased out starting in January; prepaying over $1 billion in public debt to save millions for taxpayers; and setting aside funds for a rainy day. We are now proposing the Retire Tax Free plan to end state income tax on pensions, Social Security, and other dedicated retirement income like 401ks and IRAs.
- Read more: Schmidt proposes sweeping policy to exempt retirement benefits from state income tax
- Read more: Derek Schmidt calls for using surplus to pay down $1 billion in KPERS debt, saving millions in long run
- Endorsed by Americans for Prosperity-Kansas
We understand that agriculture remains the backbone of our Kansas economy and a critical foundation for so much of our rural way of life. Derek is a former chairman of the Kansas State Senate Agriculture Committee, and Katie and her husband are raising their two sons on their family farm in McPherson County.
- Read more: Kansas Farm Bureau endorses Schmidt for governor after staying out of 2018 race
- Endorsed by Kansas Farm Bureau
- Endorsed by Kansas Livestock Association
- Endorsed by current and former Big First District congressmen and Agriculture Committee members Tracey Mann, U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, former U.S. Senator Pat Roberts, and the late U.S. Senator Bob Dole
Pro-Life and Pro-Family
Our Kansas values are at the center of what makes our state great. As the Far Left and its Woke ideology wage an all out attack on our nation’s moral fabric, Kansas must remain a state that puts things like faith, family, and freedom first, just as we have since our founding.
- Endorsed by Kansans For Life
- Endorsed by Susan B. Anthony Prolife America
- Endorsed by Kansas Family Voice
- Endorsed by Dr. James Dobson
Our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms is among our liberties that are under attack like never before. Every Kansan must be able to exercise their constitutional right to defend themselves and their family, inside and outside their home.
- Endorsed by National Rifle Association
- Endorsed by Kansas State Rifle Association
Voters’ faith and trust in our elections is at an all-time low, and must be restored. We support strong election-integrity laws, the photo ID requirement to vote, elimination of ballot harvesting, initiatives to clean up the voter rolls, and audit requirements. We believe Kansas must continue to regularly review, update and improve its election-integrity laws.
- Endorsed by 45th U.S. President Donald J. Trump
We are strong supporters of the freedoms guaranteed by our U.S. Constitution. As Attorney General, Derek stood up for religious liberty and against Governor Kelly’s attempts to order churches and other houses of worship closed. We also opposed the lockdowns, shutdowns, vaccine mandates, mask mandates, and other liberty-violating government actions that occurred during the pandemic, and we support efforts to make sure they never happen again. We believe an important role of government is to protect the liberties of the people.
- Read more: U.S. Supreme Court term good for liberty, the rule of law
- Read more: Schmidt would sign bill outlawing mask mandates
- Endorsed by CPAC
Pro-Healthy & Thriving Communities
Over the past 20 years, the number of people who have moved away from our state exceeds those moving in by about 185,000. In 2021, Kansas actually lost population for the first time since the Great Depression. We are committed to partnering with local leaders to grow healthy and thriving communities that attract more people, retain more young people, keep more retirees, and attract more investment. Every community has its unique needs and plan of action, but there are common needs such as housing, broadband, child care, health care, and transportation.
Stand Against Federal Overreach
As Attorney General, Derek has repeatedly stood up to the Biden administration and has won many important victories in court on energy and regulatory policy, immigration, protecting Second Amendment rights, federal vaccine mandates, and much more. We will continue to stand strong for Kansas against the excesses of the Biden administration.