Elections

As Democrats target Yoder’s seat, he raises record-breaking amount in re-election bid

Kevin Yoder pushes reforms to legal immigration system

Kansas Republican Kevin Yoder urges fellow members of the U.S. House to pass the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act that would speed up green-card process for highly sought workers.
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Kansas Republican Kevin Yoder urges fellow members of the U.S. House to pass the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act that would speed up green-card process for highly sought workers.

Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder of Overland Park raised $444,686 in the third quarter as he gears up for a 2018 re-election bid in a district that Hillary Clinton narrowly won in November.

Yoder now has more than $1.4 million on hand. His campaign says he has raised more this cycle so far than any congressional candidate in Kansas history.

“Men and women of all walks of life across the 3rd District are responding to his positive, solutions-oriented approach and his independent voice that always puts Kansas first,” said Yoder spokesman CJ Grover.

Democrats have identified Yoder’s district, which covers Johnson and Wyandotte counties, as one of the most competitive in the country. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee already has targeted him with ads in hopes of taking control of the House.

Tom Niermann, one of several Democratic candidates who want to challenge Yoder, announced earlier this month that his campaign had raised $181,592, a total his spokesman Zach Helder said was more in contributions than any Democratic challenger’s first filing quarter in the district’s history.

“People here are done with career politicians like Yoder putting their party leaders before their communities,” Helder said in a statement. “Finally, with Tom Niermann, we have a candidate from the middle class with a career of service, a reputation for integrity, and a strong campaign capable of beating an entrenched ultra-conservative politician.”

Another Democratic contender, Andrea Ramsey, announced Monday that she had raised $238,000 in the third quarter. But documents filed with the Federal Election Commission show that total includes a $100,000 loan from Ramsey to her campaign committee.

“We don’t have access to the kind of corporate special interest money that Congressman Yoder has, and we won’t — but we’re absolutely going to have the resources and support to win,” said Ashley Quenneville, a spokeswoman for Ramsey. “Andrea is committed to this race, and the loan is one sign of her total dedication to winning this primary and this general.”

Ramsey has $373,604 on hand, including the loan.

“Kansans are rallying behind my campaign because they want a leader who is willing to listen to the people of our district and isn’t afraid to take on tough challenges,” said Ramsey in a statement.

Jay Sidie, a Democrat who ran unsuccessfully against Yoder in 2016, raised $3,238. He has $65,612 on hand.

The FEC shows Sidie’s campaign put $6,000 in the latest filing period toward the repayment of money the candidate had lent himself for last year’s campaign.

Sidie lent his campaign $50,000 in September 2016, according to the FEC. To date, he has paid himself $17,000 back.

“He has repaid himself more than he has raised in contributions this period,” said Paul S. Ryan, vice president of Policy and Litigation for Common Cause, a government accountability organization

Sidie could not be reached for comment late Monday.

Democrat Chris Haulmark reported about $1,300 in funds raised in the third quarter, with $3,947 on hand.

Other Democratic candidates, including Brent Welder and Reggie Marselus, have yet to release their latest fundraising numbers.

The Star’s Hunter Woodall contributed to this report

Lindsay Wise: 202-383-6007, @lindsaywise

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