Here are The Star’s recommendations for selected congressional primaries next Tuesday in the Kansas City area.
▪ Republican: Sen. Jerry Moran is seeking re-election after serving six terms as congressman from western Kansas. An important voice for agriculture and medical research, Moran has seldom strayed from conservative orthodoxy. Sometimes he pushes the limit as when he advocates abolishing the IRS. D. J. Smith is also on the ballot.
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▪ Democrat: Tax attorney Patrick Wiesner is making his second run for the Senate and deserves the nomination. Also trained as a CPA, he has an impressive resume including three tours of overseas duty with the Army. He says he could approach simplifying the federal tax code from a sound knowledge base. Also filed is Monique Singh.
U.S. House: 3rd District
▪ Republican: Rep. Kevin Yoder deserves praise for his work on a rare bipartisan bill in 2015 to better fund medical research, noting to fellow conservatives that the spending would save the nation millions in costs down the road. He is well known for an effective constituent services operation. But he also has been supportive of the payday loan industry as well as big banks that want to make risky transactions. His opponent is Greg Goode, a retired Army officer who believes the tea party movement is too liberal.
▪ Democrat: Jay Sidie, an investment firm owner with sensible ideas, could provide a strong challenge to Yoder in November. Sidie says Yoder’s voting record and world view line up with the abysmal financial failures of Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration. Sidie holds sound positions on education, federal spending and Wall Street reform. Also on the ballot are Nathaniel McLaughlin and Reggie Marselus.
▪ Republican: Sen. Roy Blunt has sometimes been more a part of the problem than the solution in a gridlocked Senate, but he is a tireless worker on behalf of Missouri constituents. Encouragingly, he has worked sometimes with Democratic leaders on issues that benefit the state. He deserves the nomination over Kristi Nichols, Bernie Mowinski and Ryan D. Luethy.
Democrat: Jason Kander has been an effective secretary of state and will be a credible challenger to Blunt in the general election. His fundraising has not begun to match the rivers of contributions to the Blunt machine, but his hard work and persistence have given him resources that should make the November vote closer than once expected. Kander is the clear choice over Chief Wana Dubie, Cori Bush and Robert Mack.
U.S. House: 5th District
▪ Democrat: Emanuel Cleaver, Kansas City’s first African-American mayor, has served in this seat since his first election in 2004. As a Democrat in a GOP-controlled House, he has been a strong voice in calling for civility from a group that appears to prefer rancor. Roberta Gough is his opponent.
▪ Republican: Give Jacob Turk credit for persistence. A former business owner, he first ran for this office in 2006 and has been the Republican nominee every two years since. He is the only challenger actively fundraising and articulating a credible case against Cleaver. Also filed are Michael Burris, Austin Rucker and Berton A. Knox.