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Democrats Preparing To Challenge Congressman Yoder In 2018

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Evidence that the wave election Democrats are hoping for in 2018 is brewing can be seen in Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District. It appears there will be competition for the right to challenge Republican incumbent Kevin Yoder.

Iraq veteran and Bronze Star winner Joe McConnell has officially filed for the Democratic nomination. Jay Sidie, the 2016 nominee, is also expected to run.

Both are hoping to capitalize on the unpopularity of President Donald Trump and the Republicans who’ve supported him.

McConnell, a Johnson County native who just moved back from California, says Yoder initially ran as a moderate willing to work across party lines. But he hasn’t voted that way.

“He votes almost consistently with the leadership of his party," McConnell says. "I think you need to look no further than the recent health care vote.”

The National Republican Congressional Committee quickly jumped to Yoder’s defense, issuing a statement calling McConnell a “carpetbagger.”

Jim McLean is managing director of KMUW's Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KMUW, Kansas Public Radio and KCUR covering health, education and politics in Kansas. Follow him on Twitter @jmcleanks.