TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – With former President Donald Trump’s endorsement going Monday to a Republican hopeful in the Kansas governor race, incumbent Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s reelection campaign said she wasn’t surprised.

Trump’s “Complete and Total Endorsement” went to Derek Schmidt, the current Kansas attorney general. Schmidt has no other major competitors in the Republican primary going into 2022 after another former governor, Jeff Colyer, dropped out of the race due to a battle with prostate cancer.

Kelly’s campaign spokesperson gave a statement to KSNT’s Capitol Bureau that recalled the current governor’s experience working with Trump during his presidency.

“[She’s] proud of the work she did with President Trump to keep Kansas meatpacking plants open during the pandemic’s early days… Governor Kelly will work with leaders whether they endorse her political campaign or not – and that’s what Kansans appreciate about her.”

Lauren Fitzgerald

Kelly met with Trump at the White House in May 2020 to discuss a variety of COVID-19 issues, including helping Kansas farmers as they worked to maintain the national food supply during the pandemic.