Waymaster backing Schmidt in governor’s race

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Republican state Rep. Troy Waymaster, chair of the Kansas House budget writing committee, has come out in support of Republican Attorney General Derek Schmidt for governor in the Republican primary

“Derek is a proven leader who understands how to get things done,” Waymaster said in a statement Wednesday morning.

“He will be a governor whose driving principle will be to ensure that you the taxpayer keep more of the money you worked hard to earn,” he said.

“Throughout his career, he’s fought for Kansas workers, farmers and ranchers, and small businesses – not big Government – and I’m confident that’s what he’ll do if we choose him to replace Laura Kelly next November. ”

The endorsement is significant because Waymaster endorsed Colyer and helped him during his 2018 primary against former Secretary of State Kris Kobach

Waymaster introduced Colyer around at the Russell County Fair four years ago and helped him put up signs right before the primary.

“I’ve known both of them for many years, both Jeff and Derek,” Waymaster said in an interview.

“I just think at this moment, Derek is the better suited individual for the governor’s office,” Waymaster said.

“Things change and we’re in a different environment now,” he said.

Waymaster said part of his decision to back Schmidt stems from Colyer’s loss to Kobach in the Republican primary in 2018.

“Derek has the extensive knowledge of being in the Senate, being majority leader, being attorney general for many, many years,” Waymaster said.

“That’s why I am putting my support behind Derek,” he said.

Waymaster, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, is now in his fifth term representing a western Kansas district that covers  Osborne, Russell, Smith, Barton, Jewell, Lincoln and Rush counties.