by Murrel Bland
Sharice Davids, a Democrat, was invited to the candidates’ forum Friday, Sept. 21, at the Congressional Forum. Despite several attempts encouraging her to attend the meeting at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas, she said she had other commitments.
The forum, sponsored by the Kansas City, Kansas, Area Chamber of Commerce, is a nonpartisan organization that was established in 1968 when Larry Winn Jr., a Republican, was U.S. Representative from the Third District of Kansas. Later, U.S. Rep. Dennis Moore, a Democrat, was an active supporter of the organization.
The Republican incumbent, U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, did show up with his staff members and political advisers. John Holt, a news anchorman for WDAF-TV, Fox4 News, moderated the forum. Holt rejected questions proposed by Daniel Silva, the president of the Chamber of Commerce, in favor of his own questions.
Both candidates are seen on a substantial number of television commercials. The commercials favoring Davids portray Yoder as a tool of big business; the commercials favoring Yoder portray Davids as an ultra-liberal who would increase the national debt.
Political observers believe the Third District, which includes Wyandotte and Johnson counties and a small portion of Miami County, could elect a Democrat. They explain that in the 2016 general election, Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential candidate, carried the district. That could give Democrats a chance. Davids is seen as the strongest opponent that Yoder has ever faced. Davids beat out five opponents in the highly contested primary election earlier this year; Yoder had only two token primary opponents. Both Davids and Yoder are trying to appeal to the voter in the broad middle political spectrum.
Holt asked Yoder about his relationship with President Donald Trump. Yoder said he accepted the president’s invitation to join him when they attended the recent national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Kansas City, Missouri. But he said that his primary focus is representing the Third District regardless of party politics.
Yoder said he works across the aisle, cooperating with Democrats when it is in the best interest of the Third District. He said he meets with U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver regularly, a Democrat from Kansas City, Missouri, to work on common issues.
He said Davids is too far to the left when it comes to immigration and health care issues. He criticized her for calling for the elimination of immigration enforcement officers and for health care that would substantially increase the national debt. He said he has pushed for increased federal funding for the National Institute of Health, which is seeking a cure for Alzheimer’s Disease.
Apparently Davids and Yoder will have a chance to meet. According to Davids’ website, The Kansas City Star will sponsor a televised debate Sunday, Oct. 29.
The general election will be Tuesday, Nov. 6.
Murrel Bland is the former editor of The Wyandotte West and The Piper Press. He is the executive director of Business West.
Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Wyandotte Daily.