By Noah Taborda
Topeka, Kan. (Kansas Reflector) — Gov. Laura Kelly has raised more than double what her Republican challenger, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, raised so far this year.
New fundraising reports show that Schmidt, who is without a major primary opponent, raised $707,279.02 from Jan. 1 to July 21. Kelly, on the other hand, brought in $1.5 million for her reelection campaign.
The Democratic governor’s campaign said the fundraising totals indicate support for what she has accomplished so far, particularly in the economic and educational arena.
“She’s worked with both parties to fully fund schools four years in a row, bring in over $13.5 billion in new business investment to the state, and cut property and food taxes,” said Shelbi Dantic, Kelly’s campaign manager. “Governor Kelly has gotten Kansas back on track, and her fundraising record proves that Kansans are looking forward to her continued, steady leadership.”
However, the Schmidt campaign reported slightly more cash on hand with $1.5 million available to Kelly’s reported $1.3 million. C.J. Grover, Schmidt’s campaign manager, said this was a reflection of the need for change in leadership in the state.
“Kansans are disappointed with Governor Kelly’s failures and are excited about Derek’s positive vision for our state,” Grover said.
The Aug. 2 primary will likely solidify Kelly and Schmidt as their party’s nominees, setting up a general election battle.
Potentially complicating the race is state Sen. Dennis Pyle, who announced his campaign on June 7 as a far-right independent. He was a Republican until earlier this year, when he dropped his party affiliation to run for governor.
As an independent, Pyle must get 5,000 signatures before Aug. 1 to qualify for the ballot.
The Hiawatha senator reported raising $35,950 between Jan. 1 and July 21.