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FIRST ON FOX: Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly’s latest campaign ad pushes her bipartisan work as a centrist as she aims to win a second term as Kansas governor in the November election.
In the ad, shared first with Fox News Digital, the governor makes the case that her efforts to straddle the partisan divide has paid off for Kansans.
“Being in the middle — it gets a bad rap. But if you ask me, the middle is the best place to be. See, the middle is where I work with both parties to balance the budget, build a record surplus, fully fund our schools, and eliminate the food tax,” she says.
“Because for me, it isn’t about being a Democrat or a Republican. It’s about meeting in the middle, to get things done for Kansans,” Kelly says in the ad, which her campaign says will run across the state as part of a six-figure ad buy.
“Governor Kelly has a proven track record working with lawmakers regardless of political party,” Kelly’s campaign manager Shelbi Dantic said in a press release. “Kansans have shown that they want a Governor that is focused on delivering for Kansans, not on partisan politics. Governor Kelly has embodied that during her first term and will continue to work with everyone to do what’s best for Kansas.”
Kansas is seen as one of the GOP’s most likely gubernatorial pickups in the country. Fox News Power Rankings rate the race between Kelly and GOP nominee Derek Schmidt as a toss-up, though previously the Republican candidate had an edge, especially as Kansas voters view inflation and high prices as the top issue.
However, the resounding defeat of a ballot measure that would have allowed the state to pass abortion restrictions seemed to affirm what national Democrats have said since the Supreme Court ruling on the Dobbs decision: running on abortion protections as a campaign theme could be a winning message in November.
Kelly went against the Biden administration’s messaging earlier this summer by acknowledging the possibility of a recession with confidence in the state’s ability to weather any downturn.
“We have managed the budget so well that we now have done all of these things: We have paid down billions of dollars in debt, and we have still left in our ending balance a $1.5 billion surplus. And that doesn’t count the now up to $950 billion rainy day fund,” Kelly said of her administration’s budget.
In November, Kelly will face GOP gubernatorial candidate Schmidt, who clinched his party’s nomination with former President Donald Trump’s endorsement in the Aug. 3 primary.
The Kansas gubernatorial election will be held Nov. 8.