WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Governor Laura Kelly has released a victory statement after winning reelection against her challenger, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt.

Kelly said her first four years as governor were about getting Kansas back on track.

“These next four years are about taking Kansas to the next level,” she said. “These next four years are about making sure Kansas lives up to its potential as the very best place in America to raise a family.”

In a separate message to supporters, Kelly said these are some of her priorities:

  • High-speed internet for all of our communities and families
  • Affordable health care for every Kansan. We will expand Medicaid once and for all.
  • New job opportunities, but also new career opportunities
  • Speed up the elimination of the food sales tax so that Kansans see savings immediately
  • Build the most robust early childhood education program in the country.

“In the coming weeks, we’ll lay out our priorities for the next legislative session and the next four years. But today, we celebrate,” she said.

See below for Kelly’s full victory statement she sent to the media.

Schmidt issued a statement Wednesday afternoon. Click here to see his message. Independent candidate Dennis Pyle also reacted to Kelly’s win. Read his comments by clicking here.

Kelly’s victory statement

The people of Kansas sent a very clear message at the polls yesterday. Kansans said we will keep moving forward as a state, full steam ahead – there will be no turning backward.

“I want to thank Attorney General Derek Schmidt for his service to the state. We had strong, healthy disagreements on the issues, but I do believe he cares about this state, and that we stand united in our commitment to Kansas and its future success.

“Kansans voted for strong public schools, for economic growth, for balanced budgets, and for protecting individual rights – including a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions.

“Perhaps above all, I believe Kansans voted today for civility, for cooperation, for listening to one another, and for a spirit of bi-partisan problem-solving, that’s become all too rare in our politics today.

“I spoke a lot in this campaign about my middle-of-the-road approach, because governing from the middle is important. Everyone is tired of hyper-partisanship and vitriol in our politics – and everyone’s tired of being at each other’s throats. That’s why those nasty, negative, divisive ads against us backfired.

“When you look at the successes we’ve achieved these first 4 years, we’ve done it by working together – from fully funding our schools, to eliminating the food tax, reinvesting in infrastructure, recruiting businesses to Kansas from around the world, and creating and retaining 53,000 jobs.

“I’m excited about the future of Kansas.

“These first four years were, in large part, about getting our state back on track.

“These next four years are about taking Kansas to the next level. These next four years are about making sure Kansas lives up to its potential as the very best place in America to raise a family. These next four years are where the boundless optimism of Kansans will be met with the boundless opportunities they deserve.

“That means high-speed Internet for all our communities and families, and affordable health care for every Kansan. We will expand Medicaid once and for all.

“That means new job opportunities, but also new career opportunities, and we’ll speed up the elimination of the food tax – so that Kansans see those savings immediately.  And that means we will have the most comprehensive, robust, early childhood education system in the country.

“I know the future is very bright for Kansas.

“I thank the people of Kansas for the honor to continue serving you and the state we love.

“Now, we get back to work.”

Governor Laura Kelly, Kansas