SuperPAC calls for Schmidt to run for governor

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A western Kansas super political action committee is urging Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt to run for governor, releasing an early poll that shows him in the lead among GOP candidates.

The “Our Way of Life” PAC issued a statement Friday, asking other Republican candidates to clear the field for Schmidt’s candidacy so Republicans can conserve resources and focus their efforts on defeating Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly in 2022.

The PAC said it will independently support Schmidt’s candidacy and called on other
potential candidates not to run for “the good of our state and the Kansas Republican Party.”

“It’s time to restore strong, Republican leadership to Kansas. Attorney General Derek Schmidt has an unblemished record of success in Kansas elections, and he is a proven conservative and a champion of ur Constitution,”  Dodge City businessman Gary Harshberger said in statement.

“Our network joins thousands of Kansans in encouraging Derek Schmidt to run, and he has our unwavering support in this campaign,” said Harshberger, chair of the Dodge City Community College Board of Trustees.

The new group also is believed to include western Kansas industrialist Cecil O’Brate.

The group’s announcement came the same day that former Gov. Jeff Colyer announced he had appointed a treasurer for a 2022 campaign for governor.

An effort to reach Schmidt through a spokesman for comment was unsuccessful Friday. He has already indicated that he’s mulling over a run for office.

The group’s poll was done by Cygnal on March 3 and March 4. It showed Schmidt drawing support from 27.7% of the 510 likely primary election voters polled.

Colyer ran behind Schmidt with 19.2% of the vote and House Speaker Ron Ryckman Jr. with 4.8% of the vote.

About 49% were undecided, leaving a lot of room for a shift with the primary campaign about a year away.

The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.

Cygnal’s clients have included a number of Republican groups including the Congressional Leadership Fund, the Republican State Leadership Committee, the Kentucky Republican Party and the Florida Republican Committee.

The “Our Way of Life” PAC is registered with the Federal Election Commission and has an Alexandria, Virginia address. It currently has no cash on hand.

The PAC lists its treasurer as Kayla Glaze with a Birmingham, Alabama address.

Glaze’s profile on LinkedIn shows she’s a certfied public accountant for the Crosby Ottenhoff Group, which was paid $1.7 million in consulting fees during the 2020 election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics

The firm’s clients included Republican Congressman Steve Scalise, the National Republican Congressional Committee, Americans for Prosperity Action and the Senate Leadership Fund, among an array of others.