Bernie Sanders-linked group backs Kansas lawyer in race to challenge Yoder


A group that formed out of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign will back a Kansas attorney who worked as a grassroots organizer for Sanders in Kansas’ 3rd congressional district.

Our Revolution Kansas City, the local branch of a national grassroots organization that Sanders helped launch in August, officially endorsed Brent Welder of Bonner Springs in the Democratic primary. The seat is held by U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, a Republican from Overland Park.

Our Revolution’s endorsement comes a year ahead of the general election and coincides with Sanders’ unveiling of his “Medicare for all” bill. It signals the pull that Welder, a labor lawyer who worked as a grassroots organizer for Sanders in 2016 when he won the Kansas Democratic caucus by 35 points, may have with Sanders’ former supporters in the crowded primary field.

“Our campaign will continue to build on the momentum that Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign built during his overwhelming victories in Kansas and in our district,” Welder said in a statement. “My goal is to be the progressive voice that will represent working people – not the wealthy one percent – and I look forward to passing Medicare for All when I’m in Congress.”   

Asked whether this endorsement signaled that Sanders could get involved in the Kansas race, Welder’s campaign called it the first step in that process. “Obviously, we’re looking forward to Senator Sanders’ support,” the campaign said in an email.

The crowded Democratic primary also includes 2016 nominee Jay Sidie, deaf-rights activist Chris Haulmark, Prairie Village teacher Tom Niermann and Andrea Ramsey, a Leawood attorney who has raised more than double any other Democrat, with roughly $200,000 on hand as of July.