Emma O’Brien
August 5, 2022



Topeka, KS – With the general election in full swing, Kansans have less than three months until they will start casting their ballots for Governor of Kansas. The two candidates running – Governor Laura Kelly and Derek Schmidt – couldn’t be more different, especially when looking at their respective track records on the economy, fiscal responsibility, and taxes.

“While Governor Kelly has responsibly managed the budget, cut over $1 billion in taxes for Kansans over the next three years, and landed the largest economic development project in state history, Derek Schmidt has twisted himself in knots to avoid running on his own track record of standing with Sam Brownback over Kansas families,” said Emma O’Brien, spokesperson for KDP. “As Governor Kelly continues making history, Kansans won’t forget Derek Schmidt worked hand-in-hand with Sam Brownback to drive our state into the ground.”

Here are the facts: 

On the economy: 

  • Governor Kelly:
    • Landed the largest economic development project in the state’s history: Panasonic selected Kansas as its location for a new headquarters to manufacture electric vehicle batteries. This is estimated to bring in $4 billion in business investment to the state of Kansas, and create 4,000 jobs.
    • Created and retained over 48,000 jobs since taking office;
    • Made the largest investment in state history to the rainy-day fund to protect Kansas’ financial future;
    • Brought over $13.5 billion in new business investment to Kansas.
  • Derek Schmidt:
    • Stood by Sam Brownback while his failed “tax experiment” tanked our economy and stole $2 billion from the Kansas Highway Fund to fill budget holes;
    • The “tax experiment” caused a $900 million budget hole, putting any chance of economic development or new business opportunity on the backburner.

On fiscal responsibility:

  • Governor Kelly:
    • Balanced the state budget and prioritized Kansas’ financial future after inheriting a budget in shambles;
    • Made a $750 million investment into the state’s Rainy Day fund – the biggest in the state’s history.
  • Derek Schmidt, meanwhile:
    • Stood by Sam Brownback while his “tax experiment” tanked the state’s economy, underfunded public education, and made a mess of the budget.
    • Claimed “if you read the letter of the law … it doesn’t say there has to be a balanced budget.” This allowed the stealing of funds from KDOT to manage Kansas’ budget.

On taxes:

  • Governor Kelly:
    • Cut over $1 billion in taxes for Kansans, including her plan to Axe the Food tax, saving the average Kansas family $500 every year, and cut taxes for Kansas homeowners.
  • Derek Schmidt:
    • Voted to increase the food sales tax from 4.9% to 5.3% during his time in the state Senate. He also voted to keep it at 5.3% when he could have voted to decrease it.
    • Failed to encourage his Republican colleagues to get a clean bill on Governor Kelly’s desk to Axe the Food Tax.
    • Claimed he “doesn’t support efforts from Republicans or Democrats to cut taxes further.”