September 16th, 2010
07:30 AM ET
4 years ago

CNN 100: Toto, This is most definitely Kansas!

 The CNN 100 takes a look at the top 100 House races, from now until Election Day.
The CNN 100 takes a look at the top 100 House races, from now until Election Day.

Editor's Note: In the final 100 days before Election Day, CNN has been profiling one race at random each day from among the nation's top 100 House races, which we've dubbed "The CNN 100." Read the full list here. Today's featured district is:

Kansas 3rd: Rep. Dennis Moore (D) is retiring
Primary: August 3, 2010
Location: Kansas City and surrounding areas
Days until the election: 47

In the state that is famous for its blustery tornadoes, the anti-incumbent winds that are sweeping the rest of the country have reliably whipped up a frenzy that may result in a Republican takeover of a Democratic House seat in the state's third congressional district. The race to succeed Rep. Dennis Moore, who was the first Democratic member of Congress to announce retirement last year and who has held the seat since 1998, is a close one: Moore's wife Stephene won the Democratic primary on August 3 to represent her party, while GOP state legislator Kevin Yoder won his party's nod after a scrappy intra-party fracas. Stephene Moore's name recognition in the district, which includes Kansas City and some of its suburbs, has been a huge asset to her, but Kansas' red roots (the state voted solidly for McCain in 2008, and hasn't elected a Democratic Senator since 1932), along with a tough environment for Democrats overall, are pushing Yoder into a stronger position.

Still, Stephene Moore has an appealing message for the large number of suburban voters in her district – she is running as a nurse and educator – highlighting her community credentials while relying on her husbands strong donor and voter base. She has had the support of popular former Governor Kathleen Sebelius with fundraising as well. Yoder, meanwhile, is no stranger to state electoral politics having been elected to the State House in 2002. He has an interesting political background – the campaign narrative has been spotted by musings on both sides of the aisle about his early switch from Democrat to Republican (which did not earn him friends from the Tea Party, who endorsed another candidate in the Republican primary). Yet he has shown political prowess through his senior committee position in the State House and his deft navigation of the tough state GOP primary.

Yoder has doubled the amount of money that Moore has raised – he has garnered a total of $839,578 while she has only $362,449. And his cash on hand is an advantage as well – with over half a million dollars in his campaign coffers, a good $300,000 more than Moore's.

Still, given Moore's husband's longtime hold on the seat and deep roots in the district, the race is far from over.


Filed under: 2010 • CNN 100 • Kansas
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Grundoon

    This Kansan is voting for Moore!!

    September 16, 2010 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  2. Lori

    Stephene may have her husband's last name but she is most definitely her own candidate! Her experience in health care and her own personal involvement in the community make her an exceedingly strong candidate. I wouldn't look for this to be a sweep in November no matter what else happens in other races!

    September 16, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |