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Jeff Colyer

Former Gov. Jeff Colyer drops out of gubernatorial race due to prostate cancer

Former governor and Republican gubernatorial candidate Dr. Jeff Colyer (R) has announced he is ending his campaign for Kansas governor and receiving treatment for prostate cancer.

“While I have always focused on helping others, for the next few weeks I am going to focus on my health,” Colyer said. “I was recently diagnosed with prostate cancer like my father and grandfather. After treatment, I am confident for a full recovery. Given these challenges, Ruth and I have decided to withdraw from the Governor`s race.”

Colyer served as the 47th governor of Kansas after Gov. Sam Brownback left office to take a position as the U.S. ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom.

In his announcement, Colyer said he was endorsing Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s candidacy for governor. Schmidt has received the endorsements of former Senators Bob Dole and Pat Roberts.

The winner of the Republican nomination will take on the incumbent Laura Kelly in 2022.

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In a statement, Schmidt said he wished Colyer the best in overcoming his health challenges.

“Jeff Colyer is a longtime friend who has led an exemplary life of service,” Schmidt said. “As for the governor’s race, I welcome and appreciate Gov. Colyer’s endorsement and agree that now is the time to come together to elect a Republican governor for Kansas next year.”

The decision may clear the field for Schmidt, who now faces no significant opposition for the nomination. The Republican nominee will take on Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly in November 2022.

Mike Kuckelman, chairman of the Kansas Republican Party, said Republicans are committed to restoring conservative leadership to the governor’s office.

“The Kansas Republican Party wishes Governor Jeff Colyer all the best as he and his family focus on his health. Governor Colyer has served Kansas well and Kansas Republicans are very appreciative of his years of service,” Kuckelman said.

“Today, Kansas Republicans are unified in their desire to defeat Governor Laura Kelly. We’ve seen firsthand that elections have consequences. From trailing the rest of the country in economic recovery after the pandemic to a Department of Labor plagued with constant failure, Laura Kelly has proven she is unfit to lead. In 2022, we will be returning commonsense and conservative leadership to the governor’s office.”