A labor lawyer who worked on U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign has launched a campaign for Congress in the Kansas City suburbs.
Brent Welder, a Bonner Springs attorney who previously worked for the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, was nominated to the Democratic National Platform Committee by Sanders last year after helping organize grassroots support for the Vermont senator’s victory in the 2016 Kansas caucus.
Welder is seeking the seat in Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District, which is currently held by U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder, an Overland Park Republican. He promised to forgo money from corporate political action committees and repeatedly railed against the country’s “rigged economy” like Sanders did on the presidential campaign trail.
“I think only a populist candidate can win this district for the Democratic Party,” Welder said in a phone call.
Welder, who grew up in Iowa, said that when he was a child, his family would have “hot dogs for every meal because that’s all we could afford.” He supports raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour and called access to quality health care a human right.
Welder also worked on the campaign field staff for Barack Obama’s successful 2008 presidential campaign, according to his LinkedIn page.
Welder joins a crowded Democratic field in Kansas’ 3rd District that includes health care advocate Andrea Ramsey, deaf rights activist Chris Haulmark, Prairie Village teacher Tom Niermann and Reggie Marselus, who has mounted unsuccessful campaigns in the past.
The party’s 2016 nominee, Jay Sidie, also has indicated he plans to run.