Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly has won another four year-term, narrowly defeating Republican Attorney General Derek Schmidt by a 49 to 48 percent margin.
“Kansans voted for strong schools, for economic growth, for balanced budgets. And yes, they voted for a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions,” Kelly said to supporters late Tuesday night, when the election at the time was too close to call.
Kelly edged Schmidt by over 14,000 votes, in one of the more competitive governor races in the country. Schmidt had sought to tie Kelly to President Joe Biden and blamed both for high inflation. He later highlighted her vetoes of proposed bans on transgender athletes in girls’ and women’s sports and then made crime a big issue.
“There is sugar water in the nation’s economic veins right now. Congress and the Biden administration have printed and spent more money through the federal government than any other administration in American history. The entire nation is riding that “sugar high,” but it won’t last. There will be a crash when that federal money recedes,” Schmidt told KMAN in a Monday interview ahead of the election.
Kelly becomes the second democratic governor to win a second 4-year term, after Kathleen Sebelius did it in 2006. She resigned midway through her second term when former President Barack Obama appointed her to the role of US Secretary of Health and Human Services.
In another narrow win Tuesday, Republican Kris Kobach won the Kansas race for Attorney General, defeating Democrat Chris Mann.
“I believe that America is not a country that kicks people out of the armed forces for asserting their first amendment right to free exercise of religion. I believe America is not a country that should shut down its oil production and then go begging Saudi Arabia to produce more oil. And America’s not a place where the Constitution is optional or is ignored by an administration in Washington, D.C.,” he said to supporters Tuesday night.
Elsewhere at the state level, Republican Scott Schwab was re-elected as Secretary of State and Republican Vicki Schmidt was re-elected as Insurance Commissioner. Republican Steven Johnson also ousted the incumbent Democrat State Treasurer Lynn Rogers, who had been appointed to the position two years ago by Gov. Kelly, to replace Jake LaTurner after his election to Congress.
At the federal level, U.S. Senator Jerry Moran won a third six-year term, easily defeating Democrat and former Kansas City, Kansas Mayor Mark Holland. All four incumbents won in the Kansas House as well, with Republicans Tracey Mann and Jake LaTurner winning second terms and Ron Estes winning a third term. Democrat Sharice Davids also retained her 3rd district seat, defeating Republican Amanda Adkins in a rematch.