Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly won a second term as governor of Kansas.
Kelly, one of the most vulnerable Democratic governors, beat Attorney General Derek Schmidt.
In 2018, Kelly defeated GOP gubernatorial nominee Kris Kobach by 5 points — 48% to 43%.
Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly won reelection against Republican Attorney General Derek Schmidt in Kansas.
Insider's elections partner Decision Desk HQ called the race at 4.19 a.m. ET on Wednesday November 9.
Kansas' gubernatorial candidates
Kelly, a moderate Democrat first elected in 2018, was seeking a second term in office, running on her record in leading Kansas through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Her opponent, Attorney General Derek Schmidt, had hammered Kelly over issues including Kansas' educational and foster care systems.
A third candidate, state Sen. Dennis Pyle, also ran in the race as an independent candidate but positioning himself to Schmidt's right. He has described Kelly and Schmidt as "two peas in a pod."
Kansas' voting history
Kansas trends solidly Republican in federal races. The state backed President Donald Trump in 2020 by more than 14 percentage points and Sen. Roger Marshall by 11 points in the 2020 election.
Some statewide races, however, have different partisan dynamics. In 2018, Kelly defeated GOP gubernatorial nominee Kris Kobach, by 5 points, 48% to 43%.
Kansas' gubernatorial race also followed Kansas voters in August decisively rejecting a ballot referendum that would have eliminated the right to abortion from the Kansas Constitution.
The vote, following a Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, did not portend a Democratic sweep in November, but does show the power of abortion rights to galvanize Kansas voters.
The money race
Kelly outraised Schmidt by a margin of two-to-one so far in 2022, the Kansas Reflector reported, bringing in $1.5 million for her campaign compared to around $707,000 for Schmidt as of the most recent campaign finance filings.
What the experts said
The race between Kelly and Schmidt was rated as a "toss-up" by Inside Elections, The Cook Political Report, and Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics.
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