This is going to be an interesting election cycle given what the media considers the controversial nature of the Trump administration. Though it may not be as interesting as the Democrat primary in Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District.
The same folks who predicted a Hillary Clinton landslide are predicting a “Blue Wave” while others take note of Trump’s increasing popularity and the strength of the economy. In fact, Trump’s current job approval rating is higher than that of either President Bush or Obama at the same time in their presidencies. Still, local Democrats think there’s going to be a blue wave as evidenced by the large number running in the primary to replace current Republican Congressman Kevin Yoder who remains popular with voters in his district. Almost without exception, their TV and radio commercials do not mention their Democrat opponents, but rather focus on President Trump.
If you’re a Republican, there is no action in this race whatsoever in the primary. While the Secretary of State’s office lists two other candidates, Joe Myers whose Facebook page doesn’t even mention his candidacy and Trevor Keegan who almost missed the deadline by filing on June 2 to run as a liberal Republican. Obviously, neither are seen by state Republicans as serious candidates. Unless Republican voters are unhappy with the record low unemployment rate, lower taxes, expanded budget for military personnel or successful negotiations to begin the denuclearization of North Korea and the return of fallen soldiers from that war, the vast majority of Kansans in the 3rd district are expected to support Kevin Yoder.
That’s not a bad thing. Yoder runs his office like a seminar in how to do it. He is constantly back in the district talking to people of all stripes and working for all of his constituents, even those who live in Wyandotte County, which in the past has often been forgotten. Yoder has worked to promote civility and respectfulness in politics. However, many local Democrats haven’t reciprocated. His Facebook page is constantly littered with Democrat trolls who insult any and every post and liberal activists have even gone so far as to stalk him and his family at church. Despite this, Yoder is running a clean and positive campaign–something even some of his democrat Johnson County constituents, who would never have voted for him, will readily admit.
On the Democrat side things are a lot more active. There are three leading candidates: Brent Welder, an admitted socialist who hosted a campaign rally featuring Bernie Sanders and another admitted socialist–newcomer New York media darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. According to a Democrat polling company Welder is currently in the lead with 35 percent of the vote. Polling in 2nd place is Sharice Davids, a lesbian, Indian, and boxer. For many liberals in Washington or the Halls of the Kansas State Capitol, being a minority homosexual woman should check all the right boxes of a preferred candidate. She is currently at 21 percent in the polls and has been endorsed by The Kansas City Star but her candidacy is finding a difficult road in Kansas.
Sitting in third with 15 percent of the vote is Tom Niermann.
He received some notoriety a week or so ago when he was endorsed by Barbara Bollier – a liberal Mission Hills “Republican” State Senator who made news this past legislative session by denouncing (from the Senate floor) Catholics (and really, all Christians who believe in sin) as “sick.” Neither Bollier’s claims to be a Republican nor her religious bigotry distressed Niermann. Demographically, Wyandotte County Democrats are divided between urban minorities and Catholics – lots of Catholics – and they took to Twitter questioning Niermann’s association with a rich white Republican even though her voting mirrors that of Democrats in the state.
Like all offices this year, the Democrat Congressional primary has its “also rans” and one of them deserves an award for the worst yard sign in a political race ever. On one third of the sign, written sideways are the words OVER YODER. On the other two thirds of the sign is a large “Mike” with something illegible below it that’s reminiscent of the type of wording at the bottom of a legal contract. And so I can’t help but wonder how many puzzled folks will look on their ballots Tuesday to see what party and what office Mike “Overyoder” is running for.
–John Altevogt, www.metrovoicenews.com contributor.