Democratic congressional candidate Stephene Moore’s campaign on Wednesday released a campaign ad criticizing her opponent Kevin Yoder for his 2009 plea for refusing to take a preliminary breath test in Douglas County.
The ad compares Yoder to celebrities Mel Gibson and Lindsay Lohan, who have had legal troubles with traffic stops.
Yoder pleaded guilty in June 2009 to refusing to take a preliminary breath test and paid $165 in fines and court costs after he was pulled over in February 2009 for speeding on Kansas Highway 10 east of Lawrence.
Yoder’s campaign has said he passed a field sobriety test so he declined to take the preliminary breath test. The campaign also said he was not driving under the influence. As part of the plea deal, the speeding charge was dropped.
Moore and Yoder face each other in the race to represent the state’s 3rd District, which includes eastern Lawrence and Douglas County, plus Johnson and Wyandotte counties.
The ad used a quote from the Douglas County district attorney’s office that called a breath test refusal as obstruction to a DUI investigation, and Moore’s campaign said Yoder had refused to answer questions about it.
Alissa McCurley, a Yoder campaign spokeswoman, said Wednesday evening at a GOP rally at Yoder’s campaign office in Lawrence, 123 Eighth St., the reception had been positive to Yoder on the campaign trail Wednesday.
“Stephene Moore is running a desperate last-minute campaign commercial. It doesn’t mention a single policy position. It's simply character assassination designed to hide her support for the Nancy Pelosi agenda of higher taxes, more spending and bigger government,” McCurley said in a statement Wednesday night.
Before the rally as Yoder walked from a bus with other GOP candidates into his headquarters, a few people who identified themselves as members of Kansas University’s Students Against Drunk Driving chapter shouted questions at Yoder.
In a statement the group had called on Yoder to apologize for the incident.
Yoder left the room after he spoke to GOP supporters at the rally and was not made available to reporters.
When asked whether the traffic case had become a major issue for Yoder on the campaign trail, Amanda Adkins, the state GOP’s chairwoman, said voters seemed to be responding more to what Yoder has said on economic issues.
“I believe that is what folks are paying attention to,” she said. “And it shows in the enthusiasm.