FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact:
Emma O’Brien
emma@kansasdems.org
June 8, 2022

 

ROUNDUP: DENNIS PYLE’S CAMPAIGN FOR GOVERNOR A PROPBLEM FOR DEREK SCHMIDT

Topeka, KS – Yesterday, longtime Republican legislator Dennis Pyle announced his campaign for Governor, running as an Independent to challenge Derek Schmidt, signaling infighting within the Republican party and concerns over Schmidt’s ability to lead the state. Pyle’s announcement also comes after a broad coalition of Republican business leaders, Republican community leaders, and former Republican lawmakers endorsed Governor Kelly for re-election, signaling a growing movement of Republicans against Schmidt.

Read more about the Republican infighting between Pyle and Schmidt below:

  • Kansas City Star: Kansas state Sen. Dennis Pyle launches independent campaign for governor after leaving GOP
    • Pyle has been a state senator since 2005, and a run by him could pose a challenge to Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, the Republican candidate, who avoided a contested primary only to now face a potential general election opponent on his right flank.
  • Topeka Capital-Journal: Controversial state senator Dennis Pyle announces run for Kansas governor as an independent
    • “’As Republicans flock to support Governor Laura Kelly because of her track record as a fiscally responsible and unifying leader, Schmidt continues to have problems with his own party,’ O’Brien said in a statement.”
  • WIBW: State Senator Dennis Pyle launches bid for governor as independent
    • “Emma O’Brien, spokesperson for the Kansas Democratic Party said Pyle’s filing is a sign Schmidt lacks support from his own party: ‘As Republicans flock to support Governor Laura Kelly because of her track record as a fiscally responsible and unifying leader, Schmidt continues to have problems with his own party. First, he was forced to pick an unknown political operative as his running mate on the last day of filing despite being the presumptive nominee for almost a year, and now a Republican legislator who served with Schmidt launched a third party campaign – starting with an attack on Schmidt. It’s clear there’s no confidence in Schmidt’s ability to be Kansas’ next Governor.’”
  • Kansas Reflector: Sen. Dennis Pyle launching independent campaign for Kansas governor
    • ​​​​​​​Shannon Pahls, executive director of the Kansas Republican Party, said a vote for Pyle could be viewed as a vote for Kelly because it would draw votes from Schmidt.
  • Sunflower State Journal: UPDATED: Pyle appoints treasurer for gubernatorial campaign
    • ​​​​​​​Democrats seized on Pyle’s candidacy as a sign of a rift among Republicans about who they are supporting for governor.
    • “Republicans flock to support Governor Laura Kelly because of her track record as a fiscally responsible and unifying leader, Schmidt continues to have problems with his own party,” said Emma O’Brien, spokesperson for the Kansas Democratic Party.
    • “First, he was forced to pick an unknown political operative as his running mate on the last day of filing despite being the presumptive nominee for almost a year, and now a Republican legislator who served with Schmidt launched a third party campaign – starting with an attack on Schmidt.
    • “It’s clear there’s no confidence in Schmidt’s ability to be Kansas’ next governor.”

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