Kansans Elect Schmidt to Insurance Commissioner Post

November 19, 2018

Kansas voters on Nov. 6 favored Republican Vicki Schmidt in the race to become the state’s next insurance commissioner.

Schmidt won 63 percent of the vote, with all 3556 precincts counted, according to the Kansas Secretary of State’s office. Her opponent Nathaniel McLaughlin, a Democrat, won 37 percent of the vote.

Schmidt is a pharmacist and a state senator from Topeka. She has been in the Senate since 2005 and currently serves as chair of the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee. The Kansas City Star reported that Schmidt is a moderate Republican who favors expanding Medicaid in the state.

McLaughlin is a former executive with district executive for what is now Sodexo Healthcare Services, according to information from his campaign website. In that role he managed health care operations in Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Northeast Oklahoma, South Dakota, and North Dakota. Active in the NAACP, McLaughlin has served as president of the state and local chapters.

The current insurance commissioner for Kansas is Ken Selzer, who was defeated in the Republican primary earlier this year in his bid to become that party’s candidate for governor. He was elected insurance commissioner in 2014.

Schmidt defeated fellow Republican Clark Schultz in the Aug. 7 Republican primary. Schultz, currently assistant commissioner at the Kansas Insurance Deapartment, previously served in the state Senate and the state House of Representatives.