Prairie Village teacher Tom Niermann touts $180K in funds raised in first Congressional bid finance report

Tom Niermann
Tom Niermann

Prairie Village teacher Tom Niermann’s campaign says the candidate set a new fundraising record for individual contributions in a first quarter of operations for Democratic challengers in District 3.

Spokesman Zach Helder said the campaign will show $181,592 in individual contributions over its first three months of activity in its filing with the Federal Election Commission for July through September. Andrea Ramsey, the Leawood attorney whose campaign to become the nominee to challenge incumbent Kevin Yoder for the seat has gotten a good deal of early support, reported individual contributions of $171,004 during her first quarter of activity, from April through June. Her most recent finance report is not yet posted on the FEC’s website.

Niermann, who teaches history at Pembroke Hill and previously spent time as a teacher in the Blue Valley and Shawnee Mission School Districts, joined a crowded field of candidates vying for the Democratic nomination when he made his announcement in July – and the field has only grown since. Jay Sidie, the Mission Woods businessman who challenged Yoder last year, held a campaign kickoff event for the 2018 cycle Sept. 25.

Helder said the strong fundraising totals suggest broad support for Niermann’s middle class-focused message.

“Tom Niermann represents the best chance Democrats have to unseat Tea Party Congressman Kevin Yoder,” Helder said in a statement. “Even while Tom continues to teach, a grassroots network of supporters – former students, parents, fellow teachers, and community leaders — has rallied to his side to raise more money from more people than the district has ever seen in a challenger’s first quarter.”

Regardless of who emerges as the nominee to take on Yoder, the Democrat will almost certainly be at a steep disadvantage in terms of financial resources. Yoder, who has faced middling opposition from Democrats over the course of his career, had more than $1 million in cash on hand at the end of June, according to his campaign’s FEC filing.