TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Attorney General Derek Schmidt has launched his campaign for Kansas governor.
Schmidt’s kickoff Tuesday came after weeks of heightened visibility for the three-term Republican because of the GOP-controlled Legislature’s debates over Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Schmidt is the first major Republican to formally announce a candidacy for the right to challenge Kelly in 2022, though former GOP Gov. Jeff Colyer signaled his plans to run Friday.
Lawmakers have boosted Schmidt’s visibility by pushing legislation to give the attorney general a check on the governor’s power during future emergencies.
He’s clashed with Kelly during the pandemic and joined battles over the 2020 election.
Former governor Jeff Colyer, M.D. welcomed Schmidt to the race.
“I welcome Derek Schmidt to the Governor’s race.”