Steve Glorioso, a political operative known and respected by officials and movers and shakers of every political stripe, died Thursday night, according to The Kansas City Star. He was 70 years old.
Mayor Sly James said Glorioso was dedicated to improving Kansas City throughout his long career.
Councilwoman Kathryn Shields says she first met Glorioso when he worked in the Kansas City office of Democratic Congressman Richard Bolling. She says Glorioso had skills beyond those of just a political consultant.
While he worked for progressive candidates and issues, Shields called him a "practical idealist."
"He understood how to make coalitions and the necessity of them...the importance of the old grass roots politics that are still important today," she said. "You still need door to door efforts to get candidates elected and issues adopted."
Just this spring, Glorioso worked the campaign in which Kansas Citians passed an $800 million bond issue for roads and bridges. His fingerprints were on elections dealing with everything from streetcar expansion to school board boundaries to traffic light cameras.
Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, who knew Glorioso well, issued a statement saying Glorioso was "whip smart, incredibly loyal and could always see around corners when it came to any public policy issue. He loved politics because he cared deeply about his community and his country."
Glorioso had been hospitalized recently and was recuperating at home. He returned to the hospital this week and died Thursday morning.
Political reporters who've covered Glorioso over a multitude of campaigns expressed surprise.
A great friend. A great consultant. A great political mind. pic.twitter.com/0zd9SdqPNP
— Steve Kraske (@stevekraske) September 14, 2017
Sad, sad news. Steve Glorioso, longtime political consultant and activist in KC, passed away Thursday afternoon, according to his family.
— Dave Helling (@dhellingkc) September 14, 2017
Glorioso grew up the son of Italian immigrants in Kansas City's historic Northeast neighborhood. He attended Villanova University outside Philadelphia.
Laura Ziegler is a community engagement reporter and producer. Reach her on Twitter @laurazig or email firstname.lastname@example.org.