Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly files for re-election to second term in Kansas

Likely opponent GOP Attorney General Derek Schmidt awaits on November ballot

By: - May 16, 2022 9:27 am
Gov. Laura Kelly and Lt. Gov. David Toland, both Democrats, filed for re-election Monday at the secretary of state’s office in Topeka. Kelly’s likely opponent is GOP Attorney General Derek Schmidt. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

Gov. Laura Kelly and Lt. Gov. David Toland, both Democrats, filed for re-election Monday at the secretary of state’s office in Topeka. Kelly’s likely opponent is GOP Attorney General Derek Schmidt. (Tim Carpenter/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — Gov. Laura Kelly filed documents Monday required to seek re-election as Kansas governor and set up a showdown with Republican Attorney General Derek Schmidt in November.

Kelly, who defeated then-Secretary of State Kris Kobach in 2018, said she was proud of her work to fully fund K-12 public schools, invest in highway infrastructure, build a record of statewide economic development and upgrade the state’s foster care system. She signed legislation reducing Kansas taxes by an estimated $1 billion over the next three years.

“I’m proud of the work we’ve done over the past three years, and hope to continue building on these accomplishments in my second term,” Kelly said. “From fully funding our schools to investing in Kansas’ economy and turning the state around, we’ve made Kansas a great place to live, work and raise a family.”

She said priorities in a second term would be to expand eligibility for Medicaid health services to about 150,000 lower-income Kansans and to broaden high-speed internet access to every home and business interested in that technology.

“I’ve still got things to get done,” she said after signing papers with Lt. Gov. David Toland. “Let’s keep building a better future for Kansas together.”

Toland, who also served as secretary of the Kansas Department of Commerce, said the Kelly administration created or retained more than 42,000 jobs and brought at least $8.7 billion in business investment to Kansas. More than 600 economic development projects and 1,000 transportation projects have been started during her administration, he said.

“Governor Kelly ran as the education governor four years ago, and she has certainly earned that title. But she’s also earned the title of economic development governor,” Toland said.

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Tim Carpenter
Tim Carpenter

Tim Carpenter has reported on Kansas for 35 years. He covered the Capitol for 16 years at the Topeka Capital-Journal and previously worked for the Lawrence Journal-World and United Press International. He has been recognized for investigative reporting on Kansas government and politics. He won the Kansas Press Association's Victor Murdock Award six times. The William Allen White Foundation honored him four times with its Burton Marvin News Enterprise Award. The Kansas City Press Club twice presented him its Journalist of the Year Award and more recently its Lifetime Achievement Award. He earned an agriculture degree at Kansas State University and grew up on a small dairy and beef cattle farm in Missouri. He is an amateur woodworker and drives Studebaker cars.

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