Emma O’Brien
June 14, 2022


Bob Beatty, Topeka Capital-Journal: “On June 1, presumptive Republican gubernatorial nominee Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced he had chosen Katie Sawyer as his lieutenant governor running mate, prompting an audible ‘Katie who?’ among the masses of Kansas voters.” 

Topeka, KS – Nearly two weeks ago, Derek Schmidt announced unknown, partisan political operative Katie Sawyer as his running mate. Within those two weeks, Kansans have learned little if anything about Sawyer, her background, or her vision for the state of Kansas. The people of Kansas have a right to know where Sawyer stands on key issues leading up to the election – Sawyer’s social media pages are even still private, and the people of Kansas cannot access them, leading many to wonder why and what she is trying to limit us from seeing.

Given her lack of experience and no apparent track record on key issues Kansans care about, Katie Sawyer’s qualifications to serve as Kansas’ next Lieutenant Governor remains unclear. This is in stark contrast to our current Lieutenant Governor, David Toland, who has spent his entire career – from his early days at Thrive Allen County, advocating for improving the quality of life and economic conditions in the region, to his tenure as Kansas’ Commerce Secretary and Lieutenant Governor – working and delivering for Kansans.

“While Katie Sawyer has spent her entire career working to boost political careers, Lieutenant Governor Toland has worked tirelessly to restart the Kansas economy after the failed Brownback tax experiment, creating thousands of jobs, and re-investing in our rural communities,” said Emma O’Brien, spokesperson for the KDP. “Thanks to him and Governor Kelly, Kansas is back on track with a balanced budget and fully funded schools, while setting economic records. The same couldn’t be said just a few years ago. If given the chance, Derek Schmidt and Katie Sawyer will take Kansas back to those days we’ve worked so hard to put in the rearview.”

As both the Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce, David Toland has worked tirelessly alongside Governor Kelly to rebuild and better support Kansas’ economy after Sam Brownback’s failed “tax experiment” that tanked the economy, kept our public schools dramatically underfunded, and stole billions of dollars from the Kansas Highway Fund that left our roads and bridges to crumble.

  • As Commerce Secretary, Toland has overseen sweeping changes within the state’s lead economic development agency.
  • Under his leadership, the Department of Commerce has rebuilt its in-state, domestic, and international business recruitment teams, creating new jobs and boosting our economy.
  • Lieutenant Governor Toland launched the state’s first economic development strategic planning process for the first time since 1986, cementing his commitment to expanding Kansas’ business profile.
  • Lieutenant Governor Toland helped launch the state’s Office of Broadband Development, re-established a Community Development division and the Kansas Main Street Program, and oversees the Office of Rural Prosperity, recommitting to investing in rural Kansas.
  • Lieutenant Governor Toland led negotiations that resulted in the end of the incentives “Border War” that raged between Kansas and Missouri for a decade. This resulted in back-to-back state records for capital investment: over $2.5 billion in 2020, followed by nearly $3.8 billion in 2021.
  • Under the leadership of Governor Laura Kelly and Lieutenant Governor David Toland, Kansas has created and retained over 43,000 jobs since 2019.
  • Before his time as Commerce Secretary and Lieutenant Governor, you could find David Toland under the dome in Topeka fighting for expanding access to affordable health care for 150,000 Kansans, and advocating for improved economic conditions, access to health care, and quality of life in small, rural communities across the state.

While we know next to nothing about Derek Schmidt’s running mate, Katie Sawyer, we do know that Lieutenant Governor David Toland has worked with Governor Kelly to get the state of Kansas back on track, and that under their leadership, Kansas’ economy and business portfolio will continue to thrive.