Derek Schmidt

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Derek Schmidt
SchmidtDerek15th.jpg
Kansas Attorney General
Incumbent
Assumed office
2010
Current term ends
2014
Political party Republican
Website Official Kansas Attorney General website
Derek Schmidt (born January 23, 1968, in Independence, Kansas) is a Republican member of the Kansas State Senate, representing the state's 15th Senate District. He currently serves as the Senate Majority Leader, a position he has held since 2005. On September 16, 2009, Schmidt announced his candidacy for the statewide office of attorney general, challenging Democrat Stephen Six, who was appointed by then-Governor Kathleen Sebelius in 2008. [1] He easily captured the Republican nomination in the state's primary on Tuesday, August 3, 2010, receiving over seventy-six percent of the vote. [2]

Education

  • 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

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.

State Senate

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 had also sponsored/co-sponsored these pieces of legislations:

  • 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

Controversies

KTRM support

The 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." [4] [5] 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." [6] [7]

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 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." [8] 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.

Other roles

  • 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

Campaign contributions

2008

According to Follow the Money, Schmidt raised $119,229 in 2008 for his state senatorial campaign. [9]

Listed below are the top five contributors:

Donor Amount
Kansas Association of Realtors $2,000
Kansas Contractors Association $1,500
WATCO Companies $1,500
Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Industry $1,500
Koch Industries $1,500

2010

According to Follow the Money, Schmidt raised $233,352 in 2010 for his state attorney general campaign. [10]

Listed below are the top five contributors:

Donor Amount
Monsanto $2,000
John Deere & Co. $2,000
John D. Pinegar $2,000
BF & Rojo, LLC $2,000
Paula Downing $2,000

Electoral history

2000

2000 Race for State Senate, District 15 - General Election [11]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Republican Party Approveda Derek Schmidt 73.4%
     Democratic Party Johnetta C. Shelton 26.6%
Total Votes 23,470

2004

  • 2004 Race for State Senate, District 15 - Republican Primary and General Election
    • Derek Schmidt ran unopposed in both contests

2008

2010

See also: Kansas Attorney General election, 2010
2010 Race for Attorney General - Republican Primary [14]
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Republican Party Approveda Derek Schmidt 76.4%
     Republican Party Ralph DeZago 23.6%
Total Votes 273,104
2010 Race for Attorney General - General Election
Party Candidate Vote Percentage
     Republican Party Approveda Derek Schmidt 55.3%
     Democratic Party Stephen Six 41.7%
     Libertarian Party Dennis Hawver 3.0%
Total Votes 819,525

Contact Information

Capitol Address:
Kansas

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
E-mail: general@ksag.org

External links

References


Political offices
Preceded by
Tim Emert
Kansas Senate - District 15
2000–2010
Succeeded by
NA
Preceded by
Stephen Six
Kansas Attorney General
2010–present
Succeeded by
NA