Democrat Mike McCamon hopes to ‘lead from the center’ in bid to unseat Yoder

Mike McCamon entered the race for the Third District Congressional seat earlier this month.

In the wake of the 2016 elections, Overland Park resident Mike McCamon felt disheartened. With his wife having recently gone through a breast cancer diagnosis, the family had become especially appreciative of access to health insurance.

The prospect of having the expansion of coverage offered under the Affordable Care Act eliminated by President Trump and Congress was upsetting to him.

“For me, that was one of the major factors,” he said. “I thought, ‘Well, I’ve got to do something.”

Initially, the something was volunteering on the campaign of Democratic Leawood attorney Andrea Ramsey in her bid to unseat incumbent Republican Kevin Yoder. But when Ramsey dropped out of the race following revelations of a lawsuit that included accusations she’d sexually harassed a former subordinate, McCamon had to reconsider.

Earlier this month, he officially entered the race for the Democratic nomination himself.

McCamon, who spent a quarter century working in the tech sector before transitioning to a position to help launch Water.org in 2009, said he is convinced there is space in the race for a candidate focused on “leading from the center.”

“When I look at the district as a whole, I really do think there’s a good deal of moderates. And we’re all fairly common sense,” he said.

He pointed to his experience helping get thousands of technology companies to adopt the Bluetooth technology that allows devices close to each other to communicate and share information as an example of his approach to leadership.

“The only way you can get thousands of competitors to get together behind an initiative is to lead from the center,” he said. “You need to have the practicality to get people who don’t agree with each other in a room and at least find those things they can agree on so we can move forward.”

McCamon said he has been frustrated by Rep. Yoder’s votes on issues like health care and gun control, and that he didn’t believe Yoder’s voting record was reflective of the desires of the district.

“I think a lot of our elected officials, including Rep. Yoder, do represent their constituents — it’s unfortunate that [their constituents] are their donors, and not the general electorate,” he said.

McCamon and his wife have three children. The family lives in southern Overland Park.