Former Kansas attorney general declares candidacy for Congress

Former Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, a Republican, made an official announcement on Friday revealing his intention to run for Congress. Schmidt aims to fill the seat left vacant by the departure of Representative Jake LaTurner, also a Republican, in the upcoming elections.

Schmidt made his campaign announcement only a week after LaTurner’s decision to retire from Congress. The former three-term attorney general is now setting his sights on the House, following a narrow loss in the 2022 gubernatorial race against Governor Laura Kelly (D).

“I am thrilled to announce my candidacy as I feel a deep calling to serve,” Schmidt expressed in a heartfelt announcement. “I firmly believe that our country is in need of more influential and conservative voices in public service.”

The 2nd District of Kansas encompasses both urban and rural areas, including parts of Kansas City and eastern Kansas. It is widely regarded as a secure conservative stronghold in the upcoming general election.

Schmidt’s campaign focused on highlighting his extensive experience as attorney general and his reputation for being tough on crime. He proudly showcased his track record of challenging the Obama and Biden administrations in the Supreme Court.

“We, as representatives of Kansas conservative values, must take a stand and resist,” he stated firmly, taking a subtle swipe at President Biden. “During my time in Congress, I will prioritize safeguarding our borders, combatting federal overreach that fails to comprehend our unique way of life, and preventing the government from burdening everyday citizens with rising costs and unnecessary hardships.”

In addition, he expressed his endorsement for former President Trump’s candidacy in the upcoming 2024 election.

“These past four years have shown us the strength of America during President Trump’s tenure in the White House,” Schmidt expressed. “I am excited to collaborate with him and other individuals in the coming year to genuinely restore America’s greatness.”

During his time as attorney general, Schmidt was generally seen as a moderate. However, when he ran for governor, he adopted far-right positions on various issues such as vaccines, transgender rights, and critical race theory.

He received criticism for endorsing election denial rhetoric related to the 2020 election. This included collaborating with a group that ultimately encouraged people to take part in the Capitol riots on January 6. Additionally, Schmidt joined a failed Texas lawsuit that aimed to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Schmidt, the sole GOP candidate, has officially launched her campaign for the 2nd District seat. The Kansas primary is set to take place on August 6.

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