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The Student News Site of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy


The Student News Site of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy


The Student News Site of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy


Races for House and Senate Seats Heat-Up in Kansas and Missouri


Slider images courtesy of Wikipedia Commons, edited by Haidee Clauer

While the country focuses on the presidential race between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, state elections are taking place as well. This November, the sitting Republican representative to the United States House of Representatives for Kan. 3rd District, Kevin Yoder, is facing Democrat Jay Sidie. Additionally, Republican Missouri Senator Roy Blunt is running against Democrat and current Mo. Secretary of State Jason Kander. The Missouri Senate is especially significant because a Kander victory is viewed as crucial to the Democrats regaining a Senate majority, as they only need to win 4 or 5 more seats, depending on who wins the presidential election.

Senator Roy Blunt, the Mo. incumbent, has served 5 years in the Senate. Blunt was a member of the House of Representatives from 1996 up through 2010. Prior to serving in the House, he was the President of Southwest Baptist University, and before that he was the Missouri Secretary of State. Jason Kander, his democratic opponent, served in the Missouri State House of Representatives from 2009 through 2013 and has been the Missouri Secretary of State ever since. Additionally, he is a Second Lieutenant/Instructor in the United States Army Reserve. He was a Military Intelligence Officer in the United States Army, Afghanistan from 2006-2007.

Jason Kander campaign sign
Jason Kander campaign sign, Photo by Haidee Clauer

According to the Huffington Post Pollster, early on October 30, 2016, Blunt led Kander 45% to 42%. However, ElectionProjection.com has Blunt ahead by only 1 point, which is within the margin of error.  Many national and local organizations, including the National Organization for Women and the National Education Association, have endorsed Kander according to VoteSmart.com. Kander has the support of the White House and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) behind him, which was evident at his rally in St. Louis on 28 Oct.  Vice President Joe Biden delivered a speech, calling Kander a great example of a new “Greatest Generation” and declaring this race both critical and winnable. The DNC has pumped millions of dollars into his campaign, rerouting the money from an unwinnable election in Florida. The National Rifle Association, Missouri Right to Life, are just two of many national organizations that have endorsed Senator Blunt. He has recently received millions from the GOP in a last-minute attempt to bolster his campaign.

Across State Line into Kan., another campaign is heating up. Kevin Yoder, the sitting Republican District 3 representative, has held that position since 2011. Between 2002 and 2010 he served on the Kansas House of Representatives. Throughout his career he has voted with the Republican Party in almost every case. Alternately, contender Jay Sidie has never held public office. He is a widely known local businessman and entrepreneur. According to his website, he never planned on running for Congress, but is “fed up with watching Kansas’ economy and school system crumble under the disastrous decisions of politicians with zero business experience.”

Congressman Kevin Yoder campaign sign. Photo by Eliana Saidel

Recent polls predict a win for Yoder by just 4 points, which is within the margin of error. Sam Zeff, a co-host of Kansas City University Radio (KCUR) political podcast Statehouse Blend, wrote that this is especially surprising since Yoder won by 60% in the last election. Additionally, the fact the Sidie has no political experience is not killing him – Zeff states that he is gaining traction because Clinton is winning in the 3rd district. It helps Sidie’s bid that Yoder has endorsed Trump, and he had stuck to his endorsement in light of Trump’s  recently controversies. Sidie’s campaign gained much when he, along with 29 other Democratic House candidates, was endorsed by President Barack Obama. Both the DNC and the GOP are pouring money into their candidates, furthering the national input into this election.

Jay Sidie campaign sign
Jay Sidie campaign sign, photo by Eliana Saidel

The intrigue surrounding this year’s presidential race has captivated national and international audiences. The three presidential debates were viewed by millions of people, and the issues raised over the course of the campaigns are discussed regularly. However, it is important to recognize that the President is not the only office on the ballot. Our government  cannot operate without its legislative branch. With 8 Nov. just around the corner, it is critical for voters everywhere to research their local candidates and to make informed decisions for their district, state, and country. It may not be as interesting, especially considering the shenanigans that have accompanied this Presidential race, but it is absolutely vital that local elections are not overlooked.

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