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Sidie pulls closer to Yoder, according to poll from Dems

Special to the Star

Democrat Jay Sidie is gaining ground in the race against Rep. Kevin Yoder for a Kansas congressional seat, according to a poll released Tuesday by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The Johnson County businessman still trails Yoder by 4 points in the three-way race for the 3rd District House seat. That’s a boost from a poll the campaign released last month that showed Sidie trailing Yoder by 12 points.

The new poll also shows Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton holding a 10-point lead over GOP nominee Donald Trump in the 3rd District. The poll was conducted last week and has a margin of error of about 4.6 percentage points.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has a 19 percent favorability rating in the district, according to the poll.

The race between Sidie and Yoder seems to have grown more competitive in recent weeks. Yoder’s support for Trump has been criticized by Sidie’s campaign, especially in light of a 2005 tape that showed Trump making comments about women that describe sexual assault.

The Democrat’s campaign also has linked the incumbent congressman to the payday loan industry, including to James Carnes, a Mission Hills businessman, who donated $5,000 to Yoder during his time in Washington. According to earlier Star reporting, Carnes may have to pay over $40 million “in restitution and a civil penalty” concerning a payday loan operation.

The Kansas Republican Party also has stepped up its attacks on Sidie. Last week, the party called for an investigation into whether Sidie had met requirements for working in the financial industry. It’s against Kansas law for an investment adviser to work in the state without registering, though there are exemptions.

In a statement, Yoder’s campaign said Sidie “is circumventing consumer protections.”

Sidie, who has described himself as a financial counselor, has said he met the law’s exemption standard and didn’t need to register.

Hunter Woodall: 785-354-1388, @HunterMw

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