Derek Schmidt Biography

Derek Schmidt is an American lawyer and chief law enforcement officer in Kansas. He’s currently the Kansas Attorney General since 2010 (re-elected twice – 2014 and 2018) and he’s to end office on January 9, 2023.  

Derek Schmidt was elected the 44th attorney general of Kansas in 2010 and he is the state’s second longest-serving attorney general. In 2018 received more votes than any other candidate for attorney general in Kansas history.

Derek, a Republican, is running for election for Governor of Kansas. He advanced as the Republican candidate from the party’s primary on August 2, 2022. He is on the ballot in the general election on November 8, 2022.

Here is a brief biography of Derek Schmidt who is running for election for Governor of Kansas under the Republican party in the upcoming general election.

Full NameDerek Larkin Schmidt
Age54 years old
BirthplaceIndependence, Kansas
ProfessionLawyer and Politician

Derek Schmidt Early Life

Derek Larkin Schmidt was born on January 23, 1968, in Independence, Kansas and he’s currently 54 years old. A native of Kansas, Derek and his family have called Kansas home since the 1860s and believes each generation has a responsibility to leave Kansas better than they found it.

Derek Schmidt Education

Derek Schmidt graduated from Independence High School. In 1990, Derek graduated from the University of Kansas with a BSc. degree in journalism.

He earned his MSc. in international politics from the University of Leicester in England and earned his J.D. degree from the Georgetown University Law Center. He further received a doctorate in law from the University of Kansas School of Law.

Derek Schmidt Career

Derek’s career experience includes working as an assistant to former U.S. Senator Nancy Kassebaum and former Senator Chuck Hagel. He also served as an assistant to the Kansas Attorney General. He was a special counsel to the Governor of Kansas, Bill Grave.

Derek worked as a lawyer with the law firm of Scovel, Emert, Heasty & Chubb. He also served as the director of Independence Industries Incorporated and the Kansas State Historical Society.

Derek Schmidt Family

Derek got married to Jennifer, and they both gave birth to two daughters. Derek believes there’s no better place to live, work, and raise a family than Kansas, and that each generation must leave Kansas better than they found it.

Derek Schmidt Political Career

In 2001, Derek was elected to the Kansas Senate to represent part of Southeast Kansas, and as chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. In 2004, he was re-elected and made the Senate majority leader. He held this post through 2010.

In 2010, Derek was elected the 44th attorney general of Kansas, defeating incumbent Democrat Stephen Six. He was re-elected in 2014 and 2018. This makes Derek the second longest-serving attorney general in Kansas

Derek has personally and successfully argued three Kansas cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. He took the Obama-Biden administration to court – and won. And he defended President Trump’s America First policies that grew jobs, promoting freedom, and made the economy strong.

He has helped lead the Kansas fight against human trafficking, toughened penalties for stealing taxpayer money, made fighting elder abuse and exploitation a priority and built a long-overdue modern forensic science laboratory for the Kansas Bureau of Investigation so Kansas law enforcement can keep our communities safe.

Under his tenure, he has opposed the expansion of LGBT rights in Kansas, including by defending the state’s laws against same-sex marriages, opposing efforts to legalize or decriminalize marijuana in Kansas, and challenging public health orders issued by Governor Laura Kelly to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020, after Republican President Donald Trump was defeated by Joe Biden but refused to acknowledge defeat, Derek joined a failed effort to overturn the election results.

In March 2021, Derek became the first major Republican candidate to enter the race against incumbent Democrat Laura Kelly for governor of Kansas in the 2022 election cycle. According to Derek, one of the reasons why he’s running for the governorship post is to bring common sense and conservative leadership back to Kansas.

He wants to build a Kansas, where hard work is rewarded, where the question is how to grow Kansas and not the government, and where the state works efficiently and effectively.

Considering Derek’s history, he’s a trusted leader, a proven winner (in 2018, he received more votes than any other candidate for attorney general in Kansas history), and a conservationist. However, time will tell if he will be able to overcome Laura in the November 8, 2022, “battleground” race.

Derek Schmidt Awards

  • The Criminal Justice Professional of the Year Award from the Wichita Crime Commission.
  • The Friend of Law Enforcement Award from the Kansas Sheriffs Association
  • The Policy Maker of the Year Award from the Kansas County and District Attorneys Association.
  • The Guardian of Small Business Award from the Kansas chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses.
  • The nation’s outstanding Attorney General for 2019.
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