Derek Schmidt

From Ballotpedia
Revision as of 06:17, 26 December 2012 by Geoff Pallay (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search
Derek Schmidt
Attorney General of Kansas
In office
January 10, 2011 - Present
Term ends
Years in position 4
Kansas Senate Majority Leader
Base salary$98,901
Prior offices
Kansas State Senate District 15
High schoolIndependence High School
Bachelor'sUniversity of Kansas
Master'sUniversity of Leicester
J.D.Georgetown University Law Center
Date of birthJanuary 23, 1968
Place of birthIndependence, Kansas
Office website
Derek Schmidt (born January 23, 1968, in Independence, Kansas) is the current Republican Attorney General of Kansas. Prior to this, he had served as a member of the State Senate for ten years; for five of these years, specifically from 2005 until 2010, Schmidt held the position of Senate Majority Leader.[1]


While in pursuit of his law degree, Schmidt served as an assistant to both the former United States Senator Nancy Kassebaum and Senator Chuck Hagel. Once he graduated, he served in a number of public official positions including as an assistant to the state attorney general and special counsel to the Governor.[1]

Schmidt served as a member of the Kansas State Senate, representing District 15, from 2000-2010. He has worked in private practice for the law firm of Scovel, Emert, Heasty & Chubb.[1]

Schmidt has served in a number of other roles, including:

  • Trustee, Eastern Kansas Branch of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society
  • Member, Independence Chamber of Commerce
  • Director, Independence Industries Incorporated
  • Advisory Council, Kansas Geological Survey
  • Board of Directors, Kansas Legal Services for Prisoners Incorporated
  • Director, Kansas State Historical Society
  • Trustee, Leadership Kansas
  • Community Advisory Committee, Public Television Station KTWU
  • Member, Rotary Club of Independence


  • Bachelor's degree, University of Kansas in journalism
  • Master's degree, University of Leicester in international politics
  • Juris Doctorate degree, Georgetown University Law Center

Political career

Attorney General (2010-Present)

On September 16, 2009, Schmidt announced his candidacy for the statewide office of attorney general, challenging Democratic incumbent Stephen Six, who was appointed by then-Governor Kathleen Sebelius in 2008. [2] He easily captured the Republican nomination in the state's primary on Tuesday, August 3, 2010, receiving over seventy-six percent of the vote. [3] Three months later, Schmidt's upset of Six in the general election was just one of several major political victories for the State Republican Party that included gaining control of both the governorship and the secretary of state office. [4] He then announced his resignation from the State Senate effective January 10th, 2010; this, in turn, set in motion "the process for selecting a replacement to serve the remaining two years of his current Senate term." [5]

Healthcare reform

See also: State Attorneys General Against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010

Not long after the dust had settled following the contentious 2010 midterm election, in which Democrat Stephen Six was removed from office as the state's top attorney, former Republican State Senator Derek Schmidt, who was declared the winner of the contest, announced that he expected "to bring the state into a legal challenge to the new federal health care law soon after taking office." [6] He rebuffed criticism that there was no "legal reason to get involved at all" in the suit, noting that while he expected his office a few thousand dollars on the legal challenge, "the outcome could define the relationship between the states and the federal government for a generation." [7]

Two days after being inaugurated as the state's forty-second attorney general, Schmidt requested that Pam Bondi, the Attorney General of Florida, who was also elected to office for the first time in the 2010 midterm elections, to "file a motion to allow Kansas to join the 20 states that originally brought the lawsuit" against the federal government over the health care reform law. [8]

State Senate (2000-2010)

Committee assignments

Senator Schmidt served on the following legislative committees during his tenure:

Policy Positions

State Senator Derek Schmidt supported the following issues:

  • Increased state funding for education
  • Increased eligibility of children for health care
  • Nuclear-powered energy
  • Tougher punishments for repeat felons
  • Legislative spending restraint

He also sponsored/co-sponsored these pieces of legislation:

  • Senate Bill 584 to consolidate the food inspections agencies,
  • Senate Bill 531 to increase K-12 educational funding,
  • House Sub. for SB 81 to increase child health care,
  • Senate Bill 586 to create financial incentives for nuclear power plant expansion,
  • House Bill 2707 to create tougher punishments for three-time thieves,
  • Senate Sub. for HB 2006 to create incentives for the aviation industry

KTRM support

Schmidt, serving as State Senate Majority Leader in 2008, "approved of the donation of thousands of dollars of Senate Republican Leadership PAC money" to the Kansas Traditional Republican Majority (KTRM), "a small but well-funded group of Republicans who support judicial activism, oppose school choice, support tax increases, and are generally liberal on social issues." [10] [11] Additionally, KTRM has often targeted conservative Republicans during heated primary contests, even going so far as to label them as "racists" as they did in August 2008 to former Congressman Jim Ryun and Phill Kline for their association with the Family Research Council Action (FRCA); KTRM had claimed that the group's executive director, Tony Perkins, had "ties to the Ku Klux Klan and other white-supremacist organizations." [12] [13]

Tax increases

Though Schmidt advocated during the course of his attorney general campaign that he had protected state taxpayers throughout his state senatorial career, a local newspaper, The Kansas Free Press, revealed that his argument was not entirely accurate. When the state faced a $300 million budget shortfall in 2002, a coalition of Democrats and moderate Republicans, Senator Schmidt among them, passed a $252 million tax increase that included "a sales tax increase, an inheritance tax increase, a cigarette tax, and an increased franchise tax for businesses, among other things." [14] State legislators who pushed for the tax increase argued that the decision was made in order to prevent massive cuts to education, social services, highways and law enforcement.



See also: Kansas Attorney General election, 2010

Schmidt won election as Kansas Attorney General in the November 2010 general election, defeating Democrat Steve Six and Libertarian Dennis Hawver.

Kansas Attorney General, General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDerek Schmidt 54.9% 458,497
     Democratic Steve Six 41.9% 349,340
     Libertarian Dennis Hawver 3.2% 26,867
Total Votes 834,704
Election Results via Kansas Secretary of State

Kansas Attorney General, Republican Primary, 2010
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngDerek Schmidt 76.4% 208,611
Ralph J. De Zago 23.6% 64,493
Total Votes 273,104
Election Results via Kansas Secretary of State.


Schmidt won re-election to Kansas State Senate District 15. He was unopposed in both the general election and primary.[15]

Kansas State Senate, District 15 General Election, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDerek Schmidt Incumbent 100% 24,259
Total Votes 24,259


Schmidt won re-election to Kansas State Senate District 15. He was unopposed in both the general election and primary.[16]

Kansas State Senate, District 15 General Election, 2004
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDerek Schmidt Incumbent 100% 24,307
Total Votes 24,307


Schmidt won election to Kansas State Senate District 15, defeating Democrat Johnetta C. Shelton in the November general election.[17]

Kansas State Senate, District 15 General Election, 2004
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDerek Schmidt 73.4% 17,230
     Democratic Johnetta C. Shelton 26.6% 6,240
Total Votes 23,470

Campaign donors

Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Derek Schmidt's donors each year.[18] Click [show] for more information.

Contact Information

Capitol Address:

Kansas Attorney General Steve Six
Memorial Hall, 2nd Floor
120 Southwest 10th Street
Topeka, KS 66612

Phone: (785) 296-2215
Toll Free Phone: (888) 428-8436
Fax: (785) 296-6296

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Kansas Attorney General, "Attorney General Derek Schmidt," accessed September 15, 2012
  2. WIBW "Schmidt Declares For AG's Office" 16 Sept. 2009
  3. Legal Newsline "Six has November opponent" 4 Aug. 2010
  4. Topeka Capital-Journal "Schmidt ousts Six in AG race" 2 Nov. 2010
  5. WIBW "Schmidt Resigns From Kansas Senate" 15 Nov. 2010
  6. The Kansas City Star "Incoming Kansas AG sees quick jump into health care reform lawsuit" 16 Nov. 2010
  7. The Topeka Capital-Journal "Schmidt: Health case a priority" 16 Nov. 2010
  8. KTKA 49 News "Kansas Attorney General Schmidt asks to join lawsuit against health care law" 12 Jan. 2010
  9. Kansas State Senate - List of Standing Committees
  10. Kansas Progress "Editorial: Derek Schmidt still needs to answer why he funded attacks on religious conservatives" 23 July, 2009
  11. Human Events "Stop Whitey and the Jews" 5 Aug. 2008
  12. KC News Watch "Kline and Ryun Unmasked: Linked to Ku Klux Klan, Traditional Republicans Demand Answers" 1 Aug. 2008
  13. Red State "The battle for the Kansas Republican Party just got very ugly" 4 Aug. 2008
  14. Kansas Free Press "Derek Schmidt Tried to Defund Law Enforcement" 21 May, 2010
  15. Kansas Secretary of State, "2008 general election results," accessed August 28, 2012
  16. Kansas Secretary of State, "2004 general election results," accessed August 28, 2012
  17. Kansas Secretary of State, "2000 general election results," accessed August 28, 2012
  18. Follow the, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015
Political offices
Preceded by
Stephen Six
Kansas Attorney General
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Tim Emert
Kansas Senate - District 15
Succeeded by
Jeff King