Government & Politics

Leawood woman is latest to challenge U.S. Rep Yoder

Sylvia Williams said Wednesday that she's running for the Democratic nomination for Kansas' 3rd District seat in Congress.
Sylvia Williams said Wednesday that she's running for the Democratic nomination for Kansas' 3rd District seat in Congress.

A Leawood woman with experience in the banking industry has entered the Democratic field trying to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder.

Sylvia Williams, 52, announced her campaign for the 3rd congressional district in a video announcement Wednesday.

"I do believe that we need to improve the dialogue and have people that are focused on getting some of these issues pushed forward," she said. "And maybe just take down the tone of the rhetoric some in Washington."

She said she's worked for banks including Commerce Bank, U.S. Bank in Minneapolis and the Overland Park office of First Tennessee bank. Williams earned an accounting degree from Pittsburg State University and an MBA from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

"We always put our customers first," she said in the announcement video. "I believe our country needs a similar approach."

She retired from banking last year. On her campaign website, Williams says she thinks the federal minimum wage "should be subject to annual cost of living adjustments." Her campaign website also notes that she supports reinstating a ban on assault weapons.

"I support keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and those suffering from serious mental illness," her website says. "I also support closing the gun show loophole for background checks."

Williams, who has southeast Kansas roots, is the latest entry into a crowded Democratic primary

Other Democratic candidates in the field include Sharice Davids, Tom Niermann, Brent Welder, Mike McCamon and the party’s 2016 nominee, Jay Sidie.

Deaf rights activist Chris Haulmark recently dropped out of the race and endorsed Davids.

Yoder has maintained control of the suburban Kansas City seat since first winning election in 2010. But national Democrats see his seat as a possible pickup opportunity in November.

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