Recap of 2022 Kansas general election: Kelly defeats Schmidt by a narrow margin


photo by Kansas State Historical Society

The Kansas State Capitol is located in Topeka, KS.

Nov. 9 marks the end of elections in 2022. Kansas has maintained a majority of Republican support.

The 2022 Kansas general election results were officially announced the day after the voting polls were closed. Multiple races were neck and neck, while overwhelming margins won others.

The Republican party collected the most votes in the Sunflower State on Tuesday. The Secretary of State, Attorney General, State Treasurer, United States Senate and State Board of Education positions were swept by the Republican party. In addition, eight Republicans won seats in the Kansas House, while voters elected three Republicans for the U.S. House District.

In a back-and-forth race, Gov. Laura Kelly (D) was re-elected after a narrow victory over Derek Schmidt (R). The Governor’s race was unique. While the results weren’t fully accounted for on Tuesday night, Kelly declared a victory in front of her watch party at the Ramada Inn on 6th St. the following day. Multiple sources projected her to win before the votes were fully counted.

Kelly declared an early victory and Schmidt conceded on Wednesday when his campaign was trailing by more than 14,000 votes. Schmidt issued the following statement:

“Preliminary election-night vote totals are in from all counties. The election, of course, is not final until every lawful ballot is counted, and we are advised by election officials that thousands remain uncounted including late-arriving mail ballots and provisional ballots. However, it seems unlikely those will be sufficient to close the remaining gap, so absent any unexpected development it appears this race is over.

Therefore, I congratulate Governor Kelly on her apparent reelection and wish the best for our beloved state during the next four years.

It has been a tremendous honor to be the nominee of the Republican Party for governor of Kansas. I am grateful for the unwavering support and encouragement of my family, particularly my wife, Jennifer, and our daughters, Caroline and Claire; of my running mate, Katie Sawyer, and her family; of our many friends and supporters and volunteers throughout our state; of our extraordinary campaign team and staff; of the talented men and women at the Office of the Attorney General who ensured the professional work of that office continued uninterrupted; and of all who made this race possible. This journey has truly been a blessing, and for that I will always be thankful.”

Kelly’s platform for the campaign focused on various topics, such as balancing budgets, robust public school systems, economic growth and protecting women’s rights. Schmidt wanted to bring conservative leadership back to the Sunflower State. As the Donald Trump-endorsed governor candidate, Schmidt believes in pro-life, the Second Amendment, pro-public safety and more.

On the campaign path, Kelly’s and Schmidt’s advertisements were similar. Kelly compared Schmidt’s policies to former Kansas Governor Sam Brownback (R), while Schmidt compared Kelly’s handling of funds to President Joe Biden (D).

According to Kansas Reflector, Gov. Kelly spent $3,775,027.26 on her campaign, while Schmidt spent $2,549,218.07. In addition, Gov. Kelly received $3.1 million in funding, while Schmidt reported $1.7 million.

Proclaimed as a centrist (a political figure who works with both parties), Kelly has been outspoken about getting work done. The re-elected Governor defeated Kris Koback (R) in the 2018 Kansas general election, marking Kelly’s first term.

Kelly released a statement from the victory. Kelly also praised Schmidt and said, “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.”

Kobach (R) was also in a tight campaign race for Attorney General on Tuesday. Kobach defeated Chris Mann (D) by 2.36%.

Locally, Shawnee County commissioner Bill Riphahn (R) will keep his seat as commissioner. Riphahn received 12,684 votes, while opponent Pam Foster (D) earned 11,540 votes.

Riphahn has served the Shawnee County community for quite some time. Riphahn served as the Parks and Recreation director of planning and development for the city before they merged into the county. Riphahn shifted to county politics when he was sworn in to his role in 2019.

Residents of Shawnee County voted for improvements to Gage Park. Voters were asked whether they wanted to substitute property taxes with a sales tax at an increment of 0.2% to help fund improvements for Gage Park, Children’s Discovery Center and the Topeka Zoo. 39,639 Shawnee County residents voted yes, while 24,051 didn’t approve of the sales tax.


Governor: Laura Kelly (D) outpolled Derek Schmidt (R) 479,875 to 465,620

Secretary of State: Scott Schwab (R) outpolled Jenna Repass (D) 566,127 to 369,722

Attorney General: Kris Kobach (R) outpolled Chris Mann (D) 493,775 to 471,076

State Treasurer: Steven Johnson (R) outpolled Lynn Rogers (D) 523,533 to 394,443

United States Senate: Jerry Moran (R) outpolled Mark Holland (D) 587,376 to 355,425

U.S. House District 1: Tracey Mann (R) outpolled James Beard (D) 156,428 to 72,646

U.S. House District 2: Jake LaTurner (R) outpolled Patrick Schmidt (D) 131,199 to 95,804

U.S. House District 3: Sharice Davids (D) outpolled Amanda Adkins (R) 159,604 to 125,559

U.S. House District 4: Ron Estes (R) outpolled Bob Hernandez (D) 141,005 to 79,312

State Board of Education District 1: Danny Zeck (R) outpolled Jeffrey Howards (D) 58,582 to 36,488

State Board of Education District 3: Michelle Dombrosky (R) outpolled Sheila Albers (D) 60,315 to 54,247

Kansas House District 52: Jesse Borjon (R) outpolled Derik Flerlage (D) 6,361 to 4,856

Kansas House District 53: Kirk Haskins (D) outpolled Bruce Williamson (R) 4,788 to 3,929

Kansas House District 54: Ken Corbet (R) outpolled Lyndon Johnson (D) 6,393 to 3,178

Kansas House District 55: Tobias Schlingensiepen (D) outpolled Todd Staerkel (R) 4,692 to 2,491

Kansas House District 59: Rebecca Schmoe (R) outpolled Darrell McCune (D) 5,287 to 2,905

Kansas House District 60: Mark Schreiber (R) outpolled Mic McGuire (D) 3,859 to 2,866

Kansas House District 64: Bill Bloom (R) outpolled Patricia Smetana (D) 5,604 to 1,636

Kansas House District 67: Mike Dodson (R) outpolled Kim Zito (D) 4,486 to 4,003

Kansas House District 68: Nathan Butler (R) outpolled Michael Seymour (D) 3,058 to 1,385

Kansas House District 76: Eric Smith (R) outpolled Chuck Torress (D) 6,539 to 2,439

State Insurance Commissioner: Vicki Schmidt (R) outpolled Kiel Corkran (D) 601,283 to 347,069

Shawnee County Commissioner: Bill Riphahn (R) outpolled Pam Foster (D).

Shawnee County Gage Park Tax: Approved. 39,639 to 24,051

Constitutional Amendment (Legislative Oversight): Not approved. 464,484 to 458,405

Constitutional Amendment (Sheriff Election, Recall): Approved. 570,455 to 351,596

Supreme Court (Retain Melissa Standridge): Approved. 572,152 to 286,788

Supreme Court (Retain Dan Biles): Approved. 552,150 to 297,576

Supreme Court (Retain K.J. Wall): Approved. 547,087 to 300,817

Supreme Court (Retain Maria Luckert): Approved. 557,375 to 291,072

Supreme Court (Retain Evelyn Wilson): Approved. 553,811 to 291,607

Supreme Court (Retain Caleb Stegall) Approved. 619,828 to 229,371

Edited by Glorianna Noland, Christina Noland