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Politics, Elections and Government

Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders Will Resign

Jackson County government

Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders disclosed to The Kansas City Star in an interview Monday that he will resign Dec. 31 after nine years as the top elected official of the county. 

Sanders told the newspaper that he made the decision because he wants to spend more time with his family and has no plans to run for other public office at this time.  Rather, the article says, he would like to resume his private law practice. 

Sanders has been mentioned as a potential candidate for statewide office numerous times, but in each case he has refrained from running, citing the disruption the campaign and a job in Jefferson City would cause for his family.

He is married and has two sons, ages 9 and 12.  He told the newspaper that the recent death of his father was a factor that prompted the decision to  return to private life.

Sanders reportedly will appoint Jackson County Legislator Dennis Waits as interim county executive until an election is held after the first of the year. 

As county executive, Sanders has had numerous successes including getting Jackson County finances in order and purchasing a section of railroad right of way for a bike trail and potential light rail route.

Recently he has faced criticism over mistreatment of prisoners at the county jail and a controversy over a contract with a political consultant.

Steve Bell is afternoon news anchor and business news reporter for KCUR. You can reach him at 816-235-5173 or steveb@kcur.org

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