Campaign Finance Reports Show Hot Race In Kansas' 3rd District

Oct 16, 2017

National Democrats are targeting four-term Kansas Rep. Kevin Yoder as vulnerable in their attempt to retake Congress in 2018.

Six Democrats are competing for the right to challenge Yoder next November.

Credit yoder.house.gov

If third quarter campaign finance reports are any indication, the Republican incumbent's campaign is mounting a serious defense. By the filing deadline Sunday, the campaign says Yoder out-raised all six of the potential Democratic challengers with a war chest of roughly $1.4 million. The Center for Responsive Politics shows that contributions to the 3rd District race are significantly higher than those in the other three Kansas districts at this point.

Among the six Democratic contenders, Andrea Ramsey, lawyer and president of a local children’s clinic board, leads the fundraising, with almost $374,000 cash on hand according to latest reports. Ramsey, the only woman in the 3rd District race so far, has been endorsed by Emily’s List, a national organization dedicated to electing progressive women to office.

High school history teacher Tom Niermann and labor lawyer Brent Welder also claimed six-digit fundraising totals.

The Democratic field also includes businessman Jay Sidie, a financial planner who unsuccessfully challenged Yoder in 2016, Reggie Marselus -- a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 124 and retired Journeyman Wireman, and Chris Haulmark. Haulmark, who announced his candidacy in June, represents the deaf community and says he’s running, in part, because the 3rd District is home to the Kansas School for the Deaf.

Kansas' 3rd District encompasses all of Johnson and Wyandotte counties, and parts of Miami county. In an otherwise solidly Republican state, Hillary Clinton narrowly won the district in 2016.

Editors note:  A previous version of this story mistakenly overstated Andrea Ramsey's fundraising total.

Laura Ziegler is KCUR's community engagement reporter and producer. Reach her via Twitter @laurazig or email lauraz@kcur.org.