Democrat Jay Sidie, challenging U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder for Kansas’ 3rd District seat, picked up President Barack Obama’s endorsement Monday.
Obama said Sidie agreed with him on abortion, Social Security and reforming student loan debt. “Jay Sidie is the kind of tough and smart leader who will build on all we’ve accomplished and take our nation forward,” Obama said in a statement released by the Sidie campaign.
Sidie thanked Obama for the nod. “He has set a great example of humility and honesty for all of us, especially our children,” Sidie’s statement said.
Obama’s endorsement was a mild surprise. He endorsed more than two dozen other Democratic House candidates Monday, but only Sidie got the nod in Kansas or Missouri. Obama has taped phone calls and radio ads for some of the candidates, although it wasn’t clear Monday if he’s taped anything for Sidie.
The announcement suggests the 3rd District remains competitive two weeks before Election Day.
Obama carried the district in 2008, but lost it to Mitt Romney in 2012.
Yoder campaign manager Cate Duerst criticized the endorsement.
“Liberal Washington insiders have bought and paid for Jay Sidie’s campaign,” she said, “in exchange for his promise to vote for Nancy Pelosi as speaker of the House.”