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Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt Makes His 2022 Run For Governor Official

 Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt takes the oath of office on the steps of the Kansas Capitol on Jan. 14, 2019.
Nomin Ujiyediin
KCUR 89.3
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt takes the oath of office on the steps of the Kansas Capitol on Jan. 14, 2019.

Republican Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced Tuesday he’s running for governor.

In a campaignvideo posted to YouTube, Schmidt promised “to be your common-sense conservative voice.”

Schmidt criticized Democratic Governor Laura Kelly while touting his own success challenging the Obama administration.

Schmidt also highlighted his support for former President Donald Trump, saying he defended “President Trump’s America First agenda with its pro-growth and pro-jobs policies.”

Schmidt, now in this third term as the state's chief legal officer, has raised his profile in the Republican Party by joining battles over the 2020 election results, including a lawsuit that challenged the legitimacy of President Biden’s win over former Trump. That lawsuit was dismissed by the Supreme Court in December.

Pressed by the Associated Press about Trump and other Republicans promoting a false narrative about widespread voter fraud, Schmidt said that he is leaving “factual disputes” to others.

Schmidt has been the Kansas attorney general since 2010. Before that, he represented southeast Kansas in the state Senate.

He is the second high-profile Republican to show interest in taking on Kelly.

Last week, former Gov. Jeff Coyler from Overland Park said he had hired the granddaughter of President Dwight Eisenhower, Mary Eisenhower, as campaign treasurer, although Colyer has not formally announced his candidacy.

On Tuesday, Colyer issued a statement criticizing Schmidt as the less conservative option, because he's worked for moderates in the party like former Kansas Sen. Nancy Kassebaum and Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel.

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Sam grew up in Overland Park and was educated at the University of Kansas. After working in Philadelphia where he covered organized crime, politics and political corruption he moved on to TV news management jobs in Minneapolis and St. Louis. Sam came home in 2013 and covered health care and education at KCPT. He came to work at KCUR in 2014. Sam has a national news and documentary Emmy for an investigation into the federal Bureau of Prisons and how it puts unescorted inmates on Grayhound and Trailways buses to move them to different prisons. Sam has one son and is pretty good in the kitchen.