Who is Laura Kelly – the Governor of Kansas: Biography, Family, Career and Net Worth

Who is Laura Kelly – the Governor of Kansas: Biography, Family, Career and Net Worth

On January 24, 1950, Laura Kelly was born in New York City. She has held the 48th governor of Kansas position since 2019. She served as the Democratic Party’s representative for Kansas’s 18th district in the Senate from 2005 until 2019. In the 2018 election, Kelly faced off against Republican nominee Kris Kobach for governor.

Born in New York City, Governor Kelly grew up in a career military family that relocated frequently and was stationed abroad, instilling in her the values of accountability, integrity, and service. As a four-term state senator, she has dedicated her professional life to advocating for children and families, as well as in her community.

Kelly earned a master’s degree from Indiana University at Bloomington and a bachelor’s degree from Bradley University. Kelly had a career in healthcare before going into politics. She held positions as director of physical education and recreation therapy at the National Jewish Hospital for Respiratory and Immune Diseases and as a recreation therapist at the Rockland Children’s Psychiatric Center.

Before being elected to the state Senate in 2004, Kelly was the executive director of the Kansas Recreation and Park Association from 1988 to 2004. Before being elected governor in 2018, Kelly held four terms in the state senate, serving as minority whip and assistant minority leader.

Laura and her husband Ted Daughety, a physician specializing in pulmonary and sleep disorders, were wed in 1979. In 1986, they relocated to Topeka. Kathleen and Molly Daughety are their two grown daughters.

Laura Daughety resides with her spouse. Molly and Kathleen, their two daughters, were raised in Topeka and went to public schools there.

In 2004, Laura was elected to the Kansas Senate. She gained a reputation right away for being a tough boss who could collaborate with anyone to complete tasks. She was asked to join the influential Ways and Means Committee as a ranking minority member after just two years. She has pushed for balanced, fiscally responsible budgets that nevertheless take into account community priorities in Kansas, such as public safety, public health, and transportation. Thousands of Kansas children have benefited from the Early Childhood Development Block Grants, which were established and funded in large part thanks to Laura. These children are now prepared for kindergarten.

She was invited to join the Kansas Ways and Means Committee in 2007 as a ranking minority member. Kelly was involved in the creation of Kansas’ Early Childhood Development Block Grants initiative.

Kelly considered running for Kansas’s 2nd congressional district for a short time in late 2009. She was the Kansas Senate’s Assistant Minority Leader in the 2011–2012 legislative session.

By 2024, Laura G. Kelly’s estimated net worth will have reached at least $3.18 million. Over the past 11 years, Ms. Kelly has sold over 983 units of Jack Henry & Associates stock, valued at over $2,936,408, for over $0. She also receives $247,812 from Jack Henry & Associates as an Independent Director.

Based on the Form 4 filed with the SEC, Laura has traded the Jack Henry & Associates stock more than nine times since 2014. On November 13, 2023, she most recently exercised 983 units of JKHY stock, valued at $168,044 in total.

On November 14, 2022, she exercised 1,087 units of Jack Henry & Associates stock, which was worth a total of over $185,823. This was her largest trade to date. Since 2013, Laura has traded 270 units on average every 142 days. She still possesses at least 17,177 shares of Jack Henry & Associates as of November 13, 2023.

Laura led Kansas to be named the “Comeback State of 2019” by CNBC and the recipient of the “Golden Shovel” award for outstanding economic development in 2021. Governor Kelly placed Kansas first in the country for economic development investment per capita in 2021, earning the coveted “Governor’s Cup” from Site Selection Magazine for record economic growth.

Kelly declared her intention to run for Kansas governor on December 15, 2017. She faced off against former Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Josh Svaty and former Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer in the Democratic primary.

Kelly declared State Senator Lynn Rogers her running mate on May 24, 2018. With 51.5% of the vote, she defeated Brewer and Svaty on August 7. With 47.8% of the vote on November 6, Kelly defeated Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the Republican nominee.

Kathleen Sebelius, the US Secretary of Health and Human Services and a former governor of Kansas, supported Kelly. Additionally, she received the endorsement of twenty-eight Republican state, federal, and local officials: Kansas Governor Bill Graves; former State Senator, Lt. Governor, and U.S. Senator Sheila Frahm; Lt. Gov. Gary Sherrer; Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger; Senate President Dick Bond; Senate President Dave Kerr; Senate Vice President John Vratil; Senate Majority Leaders Tim Emert and Lana Oleen; Senators Barbara Allen, David Wysong, Wint Winter, Jr., Pete Brungardt, Ruth Teichman, Barbara Bollier, Audrey Langworthy, Terrie Huntington, Bob VanCrum, and Alicia Salisbury; Representatives JoAnn Pottorff, Ginger Barr, Jim Yonally, Jim Lowther, Fred Lorentz; Republican National Delegate Don Johnston; and Representatives Joy Koesten and

Kelly stated that the goal of her campaign was to undo the financial, educational, and other “disasters” caused by Sam Brownback’s administration. Known for his widespread voter disenfranchisement and anti-immigrant legal tactics, her opponent was compared to “Sam Brownback on steroids” by her opponent.

Kelly took issue with Sam Brownback’s experimental Kansas budget, which resulted in budget cuts for public safety, roads, and schools. She noted that she led a bipartisan effort to successfully balance the budget without raising taxes after there were significant budget shortages, and she would like to undo those changes.

2019 saw Kelly veto two Republican bills that would have reduced Kansas’s state income taxes. She claimed that the Republican plan, which would have reduced revenues by an estimated $245 million over three years, would have caused a “senseless fiscal crisis” and a budget deficit because the state could not afford the cuts. Kelly’s decision and higher-than-anticipated state revenue intakes resulted in the state having $1.1 billion in cash reserves at the start of the 2020 budget year. She attempted to pay off debt and the state pension system with a portion of the reserves.

Kelly has expressed her desire to guarantee funding for Kansas schools and concentrate on raising student achievement levels so that Kansas can compete nationally. She would, for instance, address the state’s teacher shortage and raise teacher salaries. She also wants to give students pursuing higher education more options and to expand early childhood programs.

Kelly signed an executive order in her first official act as governor, which restored the protections against employment discrimination for LGBT state employees that Governor Sam Brownback had removed in 2015.

Early in 2020, Kelly argued that a Republican-sponsored anti-abortion amendment to the Kansas Constitution would drag the state back into the “dark ages.” The state House narrowly missed the two-thirds majority needed to place it on the state ballot by four votes during the contentious debate.

Governor Laura Kelly delivers the 2024 State of the State address, check here!

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