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Kevin Yoder

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Kevin Yoder
Kevin Yoder, 115th official photo (cropped).jpg
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Kansas's 3rd district
Assumed office
January 3, 2011
Preceded by Dennis Moore
Member of the Kansas House of Representatives
from the 20th district
In office
Preceded by Gerry Ray[1]
Succeeded by Rob Bruchman
Personal details
Born Kevin Wayne Yoder
(1976-01-08) January 8, 1976 (age 41)
Hutchinson, Kansas, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Brooke Yoder
Residence Overland Park, Kansas
Alma mater University of Kansas
University of Kansas Law School
Profession Attorney
Website House website

Kevin Wayne Yoder (born January 8, 1976) is an American politician who has been a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Kansas's 3rd congressional district, since 2011. A Republican, Yoder was the Kansas State Representative for the 20th district from 2003 to 2011.

Early life and education[edit]

Yoder was born and raised on a grain and livestock farm in Yoder, Kansas, a small farming town outside of Hutchinson. He is the son of Susan Elizabeth Peck (née Alexander) and Wayne E. Yoder. His ancestry includes Northern Irish, German, and English.[2]

Yoder graduated from Hutchinson High School and, in 1999, from the University of Kansas with a dual major in English and Political Science. He served as KU Student Body president, president of the Kansas Union Memorial Corporation Board of Directors, and as a board member of the KU Athletics Corporation. He was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, served as president, and received the 2012 Order of Achievement award from Lambda Chi Alpha.[3] While at KU, Yoder interned with the Kansas State Legislature. In 2002, he received a law degree from the University of Kansas Law School where he served for two years as Student Bar Association President.[4] Yoder has served on the KU Law School Board of Governors. He was a 2007 graduate of Leadership Kansas.

Law career[edit]

Yoder worked as a law clerk for Payne and Jones from 2000 to 2001, then as a special assistant in the U.S. Department of Defense's Office of Counternarcotics in Washington, D.C., in 2001.[5] He joined Speer and Holliday LLP, a small law firm in Olathe, as an associate and became a partner in 2005.

Yoder is a member of the American Council of Young Political Leaders and the Kansas Bar Association, and has served on the Board of Directors of the Johnson County Bar Association.

Kansas House of Representatives[edit]

Yoder was first elected to the Kansas House of Representatives (20th district) in 2003. He was then subsequently re-elected to the office three times.[4] The district includes portions of Overland Park and Leawood.

As chair of the Kansas State House Appropriations Committee, he had the responsibility to balance the budget, cut government spending, oppose raising taxes, and allocate over $13 billion in state revenue to public schools, universities, prisons, social services and highways. In March 2010, the committee introduced its budget plan.[6] The proposed plan was defeated by a bipartisan group of moderate Republicans and Democrats in May 2010.[7] Yoder also served on the Judiciary Committee from 2003 through 2011.[4]

Committee assignments[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Yoder is a member of the Congressional Cement Caucus and the Veterinary Medicine Caucus.


On a congressional foreign policy fact-finding mission to Israel in 2011, a group of Republican staff and their family members went for a swim in the Sea of Galilee. Yoder swam nude in the sea, for which he received a harsh rebuke from Eric Cantor and John Boehner.[8][9] He later apologized for the embarrassment that he had caused to his constituents.[10]

In 2012, Yoder and Missouri Democratic Representative Emanuel Cleaver were jointly awarded the Consensus Civility award for their respectful and bipartisan efforts to work with members of both political parties.[11]

Committee assignments[edit]

112th Congress
113th Congress
114th Congress



On December 15, 2009, Yoder announced his intention to run for the open seat in the United States Congress.[13] On August 3, 2010, he won the Republican primary with 45% of the vote, running against former State Representative Patricia Lightner, Dave King, Gerry B. Klotz, Daniel Gilyeat, Jerry M. Malone, Craig McPherson, John Rysavy, and Jean Ann Uvodich.

He received the endorsement of The Kansas City Star, which stated, "He believes government spending has to be controlled and is best used when it spurs economic growth, a good stance in this jobless recovery. His experience as the Kansas House appropriations committee would serve him well in Congress".[14] Yoder also received endorsements from Kansans For Life[15] and the National Rifle Association.[16]

During the general campaign, Yoder set up the website in the name of Stephene Moore, his Democratic opponent. Yoder used the site to raise questions about her campaign and issue policy positions.[17] Moore's campaign filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission about the website on grounds that an "unauthorized committee" is not permitted to use the name of a candidate in the title of a special project or message if it "clearly and unambiguously" shows opposition to the named candidate. The FEC dismissed the complaint against Yoder on a 3-2 party-line vote, with Republican commissioners voting in Yoder's favor and Democratic commissioners voting in Moore's favor.[18] In the general election, with 59% of the vote, Yoder won against Democratic nominee obstetrics nurse Stephene Moore and Libertarian nominee Jasmin Talbert.[19]


In the election of 2012, Yoder ran for re-election. He faced no opposition in the 2012 primary election.[20] In the general election, Yoder was endorsed by The Kansas City Star,[21] and faced Libertarian nominee Joel Balam, a college professor. Yoder won with 68% of the vote.[22]


In the election of 2014, Yoder again ran for re-election. He faced no opposition in the 2014 primary election. In the general election, Yoder faced Democratic nominee Kelly Kultala, a former member of the Kansas Senate. Yoder won with 60% of the vote.[23] In the 2014 election cycle, “Securities and Investment” was the number one industry contributing to Yoder’s campaign committee and leadership PAC.[24] According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Yoder received $53,257 from the payday-loan industryin the 2014 election cycle.[25]


In May 2016, Yoder endorsed Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential race.[26]

In 2016, Yoder was challenged in the Republican primary by retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel Greg Goode of Louisburg, who ran on a far-right platform.[27][28] Yoder defeated Goode, 64-36 percent.[27] As of June 2016, Yoder had raised far more money in campaign contributions than either his Republican primary opponent or his Democratic rival.[28]

In the November general election, Yoder faced Democratic nominee Jay Sidie of Mission Woods.[27] According to an October 19, 2016, poll commissioned by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Sidie was polling four points behind Yoder.[29] Yoder defeated Sidie by 10 points, winning 51% of the vote to Sidie's 41%.[30]

Political positions[edit]

Disaster aid[edit]

In September 2017, Yoder voted against a bipartisan deal to increase the debt ceiling while also providing relief to the communities devastated by Hurricane Harvey.[31]


Regarding climate change, Yoder said in 2015, "Global warming is a concern that should be debated, but most proposals require huge amount of American sacrifice with little effect on global temperatures, and we should oppose those at every turn."[32]

Yoder supported President Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, saying that the costs of the agreement outweighed the benefits.[33]

Financial regulations[edit]

Yoder was responsible for the so-called "push-out" provision inserted into the 2014 spending bill, the text of which was written by Citigroup. It rolled-back the part of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 that made trades in derivatives, credit-default swaps and other instruments (which helped spark the financial crisis of 2007-08) uninsured by taxpayers if they went bad.[34][35] Yoder said the measure was necessary to prevent smaller regional and community banks from being squeezed out of the swaps derivatives market entirely.[36][37][38] In an editorial, the Kansas City Star wrote that Yoder had "played a regrettable role in the raucous government-funding exercise."[39]

Health care[edit]

Yoder opposes the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare).[40] On May 4, 2017, he voted to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and pass the American Health Care Act.[41][42] In March 2017, ProPublica reported that Yoder had said that the quality of health care in the country had declined due to the Affordable Care Act, an assertion that ProPublica found to be without proof and in contradiction to some data.[43]


In 2013, Yoder, along with Democrat Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced the Email Privacy Act which prevents law enforcement officials to access email communications without warrants.[44] Congress passed it in 2016.[45]

Yoder also reintroduced the Kelsey Smith Act, legislation that required cell phone carriers to provide location information to the authorities in situations involving “risk of death or serious physical injury.”[46] In May 2016, the bill failed to receive the two-thirds required majority of the House of Representatives to pass under a procedural hurdle, due to privacy concerns.[47]


Yoder has advocated for increased funding for biomedical research. In 2016, Yoder tried to convince “the most ardent or strident conservatives in the House of Representatives to get them to embrace research” as a fiscally and morally responsible thing to fund. More than 100 House Republicans, including conservative members like Dave Brat, signed onto his letter to House leadership pushing for a $3 billion bump.[48] In the end, Congress provided the largest funding increase for research in 12 years.[49]

Personal life[edit]

Yoder and his wife, Brooke, live in Overland Park with their two daughters.[50] They are members of the Church of the Resurrection in Leawood.

In February 2009, Yoder was pulled over for speeding on the K-10 expressway. After passing a field sobriety test, Yoder declined the officer's request to take a roadside Breathalyzer test. The officer cited Yoder for speeding and for refusing to take the breathalyzer test, and then let Yoder drive himself home. In a plea agreement, the speeding charge was dropped. Yoder pleaded guilty to refusing law enforcement's request for a breath test and paid a $165 fine.[51][52][53][54]

On August 4, 2011, after a dinner during a trip to Israel, where GOP lawmakers who had been drinking, Yoder partook in a late-night dip in the Sea of Galilee. Fifteen congressmen joined in, with Yoder swimming without any clothes, despite the presence of young, female, congressional aides. The FBI investigated the matter and both Majority leader Kevin McCarthy and then-Chief Deputy Whip Eric Cantor, who were present, feared repercussions if it were publicized. Yoder apologized to constituents after belated media coverage of the incident.[55]

Electoral history[edit]

2002 election for state legislature

Kevin Yoder (R) 55% Kirk Perucca (D) 45%

2004 election for state legislature

Kevin Yoder (R) 67% Max Skidmore (D) 33%

2006 election for state legislature'

Kevin Yoder (R) 58% Alex Holsinger (D) 42%

2008 election for state legislature

Kevin Yoder (R) 65% Gary Glauberman (D) 35%

2010 election for U.S. House of Representatives
US House election, 2010: Kansas District 3
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Kevin Yoder 136,246 58
Democratic Stephene Moore 90,123 39
Libertarian Jasmin Talbert 6,846 3
Total votes 233,285 100
2012 election for U.S. House of Representatives
Election results, Kansas' 3rd district, November 6, 2012[56]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Kevin Yoder (incumbent) 201,087 69
Libertarian Joel Balam 92,675 31
Total votes 293,762 100
2014 election for U.S. House of Representatives
Kansas's 3rd Congressional District, 2014[57]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Kevin Yoder (Incumbent) 134,493 60
Democratic Kelly Kultala 89,584 40
Total votes 224,077 100
2016 election for U.S. House of Representatives
Kansas's 3rd Congressional District, 2016[58]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Kevin Yoder (Incumbent) 176,022 51.3
Democratic Jay Sidie 139,300 40.6
Libertarian Steve Hohe 27,791 8.1
Total votes 343,113 100


  1. ^ 2000 Kansas Official General Election Results. Kansas Secretary of State.
  2. ^ "Kevin Yoder ancestry". Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Congressmen and Passionate Brothers". Lambda Chi Alpha. January 5, 2011. Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c About Kevin, Kevin for Congress website
  5. ^ "Representative Kevin W. Yoder (KS)". Project Vote Smart. 
  6. ^ "House GOP offer budget fix". The Associated Press. March 18, 2010. Retrieved September 13, 2011. 
  7. ^ Carpenter, Tim. "GOP leaders' budget refused". Retrieved September 13, 2011. 
  8. ^ "After Skinny-Dipping in Israel, Rep. Kevin Yoder is Rebuked". The New York Times. August 20, 2012. Retrieved August 20, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Exclusive: FBI probed GOP trip with drinking, nudity in Israel". Politico. August 19, 2012. Retrieved August 19, 2012. 
  10. ^ Helling, Dave (August 20, 2012). "Congressman Yoder apologizes for swimming nude in Sea of Galilee". Kansas City Star. Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Yoder, Cleaver jointly recognized for civility in government". Prairie Village Post. November 14, 2012. Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Member List". Retrieved 6 November 2017. 
  13. ^ Yoder to run for Congress, Prime Buzz, The Kansas City Star[dead link]
  14. ^ "Kansas Voters Should Choose Solutions". Archived from the original on October 18, 2010. Retrieved December 14, 2012. 
  15. ^ "Kansans for Life, State Pro-Life Group, Makes 2010 Election Endorsements". September 30, 2010. Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  16. ^ "NRA-PVF Endorses Kevin Yoder for U.S. H". National Rifle Association of America. Institute for Legislative Action. September 14, 2010. Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Website Creates Rancor in Congressional Race". October 5, 2010. Archived from the original on March 22, 2012. Retrieved August 12, 2011. 
  18. ^ "Federal Elections Commission members question dismissal of complaint against Congressman Kevin Yoder". Associated Press. July 6, 2011. 
  19. ^ Klepper, David (November 2, 2010). "Yoder rolls to victory in Kansas' 3rd District". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved November 4, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Election Summary Report : 2012 Kansas Primary Election" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-03-04. 
  21. ^ "The Stars Recommendations". Archived from the original on October 21, 2012. Retrieved April 23, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Kansas Secretary of State : 2012 General Election" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-03-04. 
  23. ^ "Incumbents win in congressional races in Kansas and Missouri". The Kansas City Star. 2014-11-04. Retrieved 2016-03-04. 
  24. ^ "Rep. Kevin Yoder". 
  25. ^ "Never mind the big banks, Kevin Yoder's bigger payday is from payday lenders". Kansas City Star. 
  26. ^ Elle Moxley (May 27, 2016). "Rep. Yoder Offers Lukewarm Endorsement Of Trump". KCUR. 
  27. ^ a b c Dion Lefler, 2016 Kansas primary results: U.S. Senate, Congressional Districts 3 and 4, (August 2, 2016).
  28. ^ a b Mary Rupert, Candidates hold widely varying views in 3rd District, U.S. House contest, Wyandotte Daily (July 25, 2016).
  29. ^ Woodall, Hunter (11 October 2016). "Sidie Pulls Closer to Yoder, According to Poll from Dems". Kansas City Star. Retrieved 22 October 2016. 
  30. ^ "Kansas U.S. House 3rd District Results: Kevin Yoder Wins". The New York Times. November 17, 2016. Retrieved 17 November 2016. 
  31. ^ "KC area Republicans vote against Harvey relief, debt ceiling increase". kansascity. Retrieved 2017-09-12. 
  32. ^ "U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder of Kansas is firmly in step with the GOP party line". kansascity. Retrieved 2017-09-12. 
  33. ^ "KC area Republicans applaud Trump's decision to exit climate deal — with one exception". kansascity. Retrieved 2017-09-12. 
  34. ^ "Kevin Yoder MIA After Tucking Wall Street Bailout Into Government Spending Bill". Huffington Post. December 15, 2014. 
  35. ^ Weisman, Jonathan (December 15, 2014). "A Window Into Washington in an Effort to Undo a Dodd-Frank Rule". New York Times. 
  36. ^ "U.S. Rep. Kevin Yoder of Kansas defends measure relaxing banking rules | The Kansas City Star". 2014-12-16. Retrieved 2016-03-04. 
  37. ^ "Rep. Kevin Yoder: Scrapping costly banking regulation is a way to invest in America | The Kansas City Star". 2015-01-04. Retrieved 2016-03-04. 
  38. ^ Wasson, Erik (December 19, 2014). "GOP to Warren: That Dodd-Frank Rollback Was Just the Appetizer". Bloomberg. 
  39. ^ "Rep. Kevin Yoder helps big banks undo taxpayer protection". Kansas City Star. December 12, 2014. 
  40. ^ "Kevin Yoder on Health Care". Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  41. ^ "How the House voted to pass the GOP health-care bill". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-05-04. 
  42. ^ "Health care vote puts pressure on dozens of vulnerable GOP reps". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2017-05-04. 
  43. ^ Ornstein, Charles (2017-03-22). "We Fact-Checked Lawmakers' Letters to Constituents on Health Care". ProPublica. Retrieved 2017-03-22. 
  44. ^ Tummarello, Kate (June 18, 2014). "Bill requiring warrants for email searches hits magic number in House", The Hill.
  45. ^ Trujillo, Mario (2016-04-27). "House unanimously passes email privacy bill". Retrieved 2016-07-18. 
  46. ^ "Rep. Yoder Reintroduces Kelsey Smith Act to Help Prevent Violent Crimes". 2016-03-23. Retrieved 2016-07-18.  This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  47. ^ "U.S. House votes down Kelsey Smith Act over privacy concerns". Retrieved 2016-07-18. 
  48. ^ Kelly, Nora. "What's Next for the National Institutes of Health?". Retrieved 2016-07-18. 
  49. ^ "Congress gives big funding increase to NIH". STAT. 2015-12-16. Retrieved 2016-07-18. 
  50. ^ "Kevin Yoder's Newest Addition". Roll Call. 2015-11-16. Retrieved 2016-07-18. 
  51. ^ Campbell, Justin (October 26, 2010). "Kevin Yoder Pleaded Guilty to Refusing Law Enforcement's Request For A Breath Test, refused to answer KMBC bulldog Mike Mahoney's questions (video)". The Pitch. 
  52. ^ Carpenter, Tim (October 25, 2010). "Yoder's '09 traffic stop clarified". Topeka Capital-Journal. Retrieved October 26, 2010. 
  53. ^ Carpenter, Tim (October 23, 2010). "Yoder declined '09 breath test". Topeka Capital-Journal. Retrieved October 24, 2010. 
  54. ^ Diepenbrock, George (October 24, 2010). "Yoder fined in 2009 for refusing Breathalyzer test". Lawrence Journal-World. Retrieved October 24, 2010. 
  55. ^ GOP lawmaker skinny dipped where Bible says Jesus walked on water, KDVR (CNN), August 21, 2011. Retrieved 23 May 2017.
  56. ^ "2012 General Election Results" (PDF). Kansas Secretary of State. Retrieved March 29, 2013. 
  57. ^ "2014 General Election Official Totals" (PDF). Kansas Secretary of State. Retrieved 28 April 2015. 
  58. ^ "2016 General Election Official Totals" (PDF). Kansas Secretary of State. Retrieved 2 November 2017. 

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Dennis Moore
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Kansas's 3rd congressional district

January 3, 2011 – present
Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Rob Woodall
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Mark Amodei