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Why aren't any Democrats running in some legislative races in Missouri and Kansas?

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Voters cast their ballots at Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Kansas City, Kansas, on Nov. 3, 2020.
Carlos Moreno
KCUR 89.3
Voters cast their ballots at Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Kansas City, Kansas, during the 2020 general election.

As Missourians and Kansans prepare to go to the polls, dozens of legislative districts in both states have failed to produce a Democratic candidate. So why aren't more Democrats running?

Kansas and Missouri party officials cite factors like recent gerrymandering, low pay and high time commitment as reasons for the lack of Democratic candidates in some races. Leaders say those factors can prevent young, working people from running.

KCUR's Up To Date was joined by leaders from the Kansas Democratic Party and Missouri Democratic Party to talk about why we're seeing this in these states, and whether or not they're worried about it.

  • Alana Cloutier, 2nd Congressional district chair of the Kansas Democratic Party, candidate for the 9th district of the Kansas House of Representatives
  • Randy D. Dunn, executive director of the Missouri Democratic Party
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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
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