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Republican Kevin Yoder Re-Elected in Kansas’ 3rd District

Democrat Jay Sidie's bid to unseat incumbent falls short

Kansas 3rd District incumbent, GOP Rep. Kevin Yoder, won re-election on Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Kansas 3rd District incumbent, GOP Rep. Kevin Yoder, won re-election on Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder will defeat Democrat Jay Sidie in Kansas’ 3rd District, The Associated Press projects. 

Yoder led Sidie 48 percent to 44 percent with 20 percent of precincts reporting. 

[Election Results 2016]

Kansas’ 3rd District includes all of Kansas City, Kansas, and its populous suburbs including Overland Park and Olathe. It’s one of the well-educated suburban districts that Democrats tried to put on the map this year. (Democrat Dennis Moore represented an earlier version of the district for 12 years prior to Yoder.) But the Democratic wave required to knock off Yoder never materialized. 

[Democratic Poll: Kevin Yoder’s Lead Is Within Margin of Error]

Sidie tried to link Yoder to Trump, criticizing him for continuing to support the real estate mogul despite a leaked 2005 “Access Hollywood” recording of Trump making lewd comments about his pursuit of women.

Sidie also attempted to tie the incumbent to the unpopular education cuts supported by the state’s GOP Gov. Sam Brownback. In one ad, he called Yoder the “architect” of those cuts. Yoder released an ad attacking Sidie for being an “unlicensed and unregistered financial adviser.”

In the end, however, those attacks were not enough.

Coming into Election Day, the race was rated Leans Republican by The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call. Yoder, first elected in 2010, won his last re-election race by more than 20 points. 

Yoder’s re-election this year likely means the GOP will hold on to a seat on the powerful Appropriations Committee. As an appropriator, Yoder has chosen his battles wisely and in the 114th Congress, he has touched on some hot button issues.

He joined Rep. Jared Polis in re-introducing a bill that would prohibit internet communications providers from handing over emails to the government without a warrant. “What the administration wants to do is to not even notify the person who’s the person, and go around the individual,” he said. “It’s really the administration versus the rest of the world.”

He has also called for significant increases to funding for the National Institutes of Health. In March 2015, at an event put on by two groups lobbying for more cancer research, Yoder asked, “Why aren’t we spending $60 billion at NIH research, honestly?”

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