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Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly.

Kansas gubernatorial challenger goes after Gov. Kelly over school lockdowns

Derek Schmidt, the Republican candidate for Kansas governor, released a new commercial that criticizes incumbent Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly for supporting school lockdowns. He’s even created a website called, “lockdownlaura.com.”

“I’m a mom of five. The school lockdowns were hard on my children, and every Kansas student,” Wichita resident Natalie Ellis said in Schmidt’s new ad. “When Laura Kelly calls herself the ‘education governor,’ it makes me angry. Kelly’s lockdowns and mandates did more damage to children than any governor in Kansas history. That’s why I’m voting for Derek Schmidt. Derek will fully fund our schools, keep kids in the classroom and empower parents so every student can get the education they deserve. Derek Schmidt listens to us.”

READ: Kelly vetoes bill that would protect women’s sports

Several studies have shown the remote learning implemented in an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19 has set students back, and Schmidt’s campaign is betting that voters will tie Kelly to the negative effects. During her campaign, Kelly has said she makes “no apologies” for implementing the school measures.

“We in Kansas had to take a look at what do we know, what do we have and what we need to do to make sure we keep our people safe,” Kelly said earlier in September, touting she was the first governor to close schools to in-person learning for an entire year. “So when I look at what we did, I know everybody thinks about the sort of dramatic decision to close our schools and to be the first governor to close them for the entire year. I’ll make no apologies for that.”

Schmidt has committed to signing a Parents Bill of Rights that Kelly vetoed and pledged to constitutionally fund schools to keep students in the classroom.

“Nothing is more important than our kids, and we need to put kids and parents first,” Schmidt said. “We must constitutionally fund our schools. But fully funding schools doesn’t work if you lock the students out of them. It doesn’t work if you lock the parents out of them, either.”

–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice

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