Governor Laura Kelly (D., Kan.) has “lied to voters” about her position on biological men competing in women’s sports, the Republican Governors Association Kansas 2022 PAC told viewers in a new TV ad shared exclusively with National Review.
The RGA ad features a clip from an advertisement the Kelly campaign aired last week in which the governor said, “of course men should not play girls sports.” After coming under fire from progressives and LGBT activists, Kelly reversed course in a follow-up interview, arguing that her comment in the ad referred only to “a male over the age of 18” trying to participate against minor females in sports. She did not specify in what venue such a competition might occur.
Despite the unambiguous claim she made in the ad, Kelly now says that decisions about gender segregation in college sports should be made by the NCAA, rather than the Kansas legislature.
“We already have a structure in place, the NCAA has a structure in place to deal with issues like this on a one by one basis and I don’t think there’s any other way that you can really deal with this,” Kelly said in the follow-up interview.
It’s not the first time Kelly has reversed herself on the issue: she vetoed bills in both 2021 and 2022 to keep males from competing in girls’ sports, as the ad notes.
“April 16, 2021: The legislature passes a commonsense bill to keep biological men out of girls’ sports. Governor Kelly said no. April 8, 2022: Same thing. Laura Kelly? No,” a narrator in the RGA ad says.
“Laura Kelly’s actions speak louder than words. She chose the radical, transgender agenda. She’s not ‘middle of the road’ and she’s not honest with Kansas,” the narrator adds.
Kelly’s ad taking a stand against male participation in women’s sports came days after the RGA released a video featuring Riley Gaines, a swimmer who had to compete against transgender athlete Lia Thomas.
The Kansas gubernatorial race is in a dead heat, according to a recent poll, with Kelly trailing Republican Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt by two points.
A FOX4/Emerson College poll released last week shows Kelly at 44.6 percent and Schmidt at 43.1 percent, with the difference being within the margin of error.
“Democrat Laura Kelly isn’t going to get away with lying to voters, especially while her record and actions show she’s clearly prioritizing a radical transgender agenda in Kansas,” said RGA spokeswoman Joanna Rodriguez in a statement. “Kelly had the chance to stand for parents and students and twice turned her back on them, and you can bet she’ll do it again if Kansans don’t vote her out in November.”