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Meet the candidates for Kansas City Council's 4th District At-Large seat

Composite photo shows two men wearing suits and ties talking on microphones inside a radio studio.
Carlos Moreno
KCUR 89.3
Crispin Rea, left, and Justin Short, candidates for Kansas City's 4th District at-large seat, talk on KCUR's Up To Date on June 15, 2023.

Crispin Rea and Justin Short are vying to be the next 4th District At-Large representative on the Kansas City Council, taking over the seat that Katheryn Shields currently holds. Ahead of the June 20 election, both joined KCUR's Up To Date to discuss their views on the issues facing the city.

On June 20, voters in Kansas City will determine who will replace Katheryn Shields as the 4th District At-Large council member: Justin Short or Crispin Rea.

Short is now a downtown resident, but he is originally from the Northland. He spent seven years working in entertainment roles on a cruise ship, and even as cruise director, before eventually coming back to Kansas City.

He has served on boards and commissions around the city, notably the Kansas City LGBTQ commission, and has earned Shields' endorsement.

"We've got some work to do in our city when it comes to building attainable housing, transportation and basic city services," Short said. "And I'm thrilled to be a a part of that journey."

Rea, who was raised east of Troost, has spent the last seven years as a prosecuting attorney for the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office working in the Special Victims Unit. He was previously elected to the Jackson County Democratic Committee and served for four years on the Kansas City School Board. He is currently also on the board of directors of multiple community organizations.

"I have experience working at City Hall and navigating the bureaucracy and the ins and outs of that building," said Rea. "But also we can overlook lived experience. I grew up in a neighborhood that was plagued by gangs, drugs and violence. And so some of our most serious issues are things that I have experienced on a very deep and intimate level."

Both candidates joined KCUR's Up to Date to discuss where they stand on the issues facing Kansas City.

Polls are open from 6 a.m.-7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 20. KCUR put together this guidefor how to vote and what to know about the candidates on Election Day.

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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.
As Up To Date’s senior producer, I construct daily conversations that give our listeners context to the issues of our time. I strive to provide a platform that holds those in power accountable, while also spotlighting the voices of Kansas City’s creatives and visionaries that may otherwise go unheard. Email me at zach@kcur.org.
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