Derek Schmidt took the oath of office as the 44th Kansas Attorney General on January 10, 2011, and was re-elected to a second four-year term in 2014. Under his leadership, the Office of the Attorney General has recovered more than $500 million for Kansas consumers and taxpayers, the largest recoveries in state history. The Attorney General’s Office also has prosecuted a record number of Jessica’s Law cases, resulting in life prison terms for sex offenders who prey on children, and has helped lead the state’s effort to combat human trafficking.
Standing strong for public safety, Attorney General Schmidt successfully advocated stronger laws to protect senior citizens from fraud and abuse, to protect consumers from scams and rip-offs, and to protect Kansans from other violent criminals. Attorney General Schmidt led the successful effort to build a modern 21st-century crime lab for the Kansas Bureau of Investigation to better meet the needs of public safety. In addition to helping solve crimes, the new lab also will educate a new generation of Kansans who want to become forensic scientists.
Attorney General Schmidt twice has personally argued on behalf of Kansas before the U.S. Supreme Court, and the state prevailed on both cases. Schmidt also has pushed back strongly against federal agencies whose unlawful overreach inhibits the ability of Kansans to govern ourselves, objecting to actions by the Environmental Protection Agency, Fish & Wildlife Service, and National Labor Relations Board, and to provisions of the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare.” He has made Kansas part of the national coalition of states that with unprecedented success has persuaded federal courts to block three of President Obama’s initiatives while the courts sort out their legality: The “executive action” on immigration, the “Waters of the U.S.” rule, and the attempt to stretch the Clean Air Act to implement the president’s policy objectives on greenhouse gases.
Schmidt serves president for the National Association of Attorneys General. Before being elected attorney general, Schmidt served 10 years as a Kansas State Senator, the last six as majority leader for the Republican caucus. He previously served as an assistant to Governor Bill Graves and to U.S. Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum. He is a graduate of the University of Kansas William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, and Georgetown University Law Center. He also holds a post-graduate law degree from the University of Kansas School of Law.
A fifth-generation Kansan from Independence, Attorney General Schmidt and his wife, Jennifer, are the parents of two daughters.