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Here's Who's Running For Mayor Of Kansas City, Missouri

Rebekah Hange
KCUR 89.3
As of the January 15 filing deadline, 12 candidates were running for mayor of Kansas City, Missouri.

Updated on February 1, 2019: Eleven candidates, including six current city council members, are in the race to replace Kansas City Mayor Sly James when he leaves office in 2019. 

James is term-limited and cannot run when his current term ends this year.

Here, in alphabetical order, is a list of everyone who has filed to run.

2019 Mayoral Candidates

Alissia Canady — Canady is a first-term Kansas City councilwoman, representing the 5th district in the south and east parts of the city. She is currently a private attorney. Previously, she was an assitant prosecuting attorney for Jackson County. Canady is running on an initiative to promote equitable economic development in all parts of Kansas City and increasing funding for mental health programs. According to January's campaign finance report, Canady had $26,366 cash on hand. 

Clay Chastain — Chastain’s name may be familiar to voters. He’s been behind several failed light rail initiatives and has run for mayor at least four times. While Chastain keeps a permanent residence in Bedford, Virginia, he is registered to vote at an address on Wyoming Street in Kansas City. Chastain has not yet formed a committee. 

Phil Glynn — Glynn owns a small business in Kansas City's Crossroads District that finances and supports housing and development projects in American Indian communities. Glynn was previously a member of Kansas City's TIF commission, which awards incentives to developers, but he was removed after he voted against a plan to approve incentives to build the BNIM headquarters in the Crossroads. According to the latest campaign finance reports, Glynn had $61,855 cash on hand.

Jolie Justus — Justus is in her first term on the city council, representing the Fourth District. She has also served eight years as a Missouri state senator and is director of pro bono services at the Shook, Hardy & Bacon law firm. Justus initially entered the race last year, but withdrew after Jason Kander announced he was running in June. After Kander'ssurprise withdrawal in early October, Justus re-entered the race, admitting in a news release that she was disappointed to have suspended her original campaign but believed it was "best for Kansas City." Since Kander's exit, she said, "After talking it through at length with my wife, I've decided that I can best serve Kansas City as its next mayor."  Justus' latest campaign finance reports shows $249,993 cash on hand. 

Henry Klein — This is Henry Klein’s third run for mayor. He last ran in 2011, but didn’t make it to the general election. On a Go-Fund-Me page, Klein says he won’t ask for donations from special interests groups “knowing full well they expect something in return.” Klein has not yet filed a campaign finance report. 

Vincent Lee— Lee lost to incumbent mayor Sly James in 2015’s general election. Back then, Lee described his top priorities as bringing union contracts back to Kansas City, improving access to health care for low-income residents and improving public education in the city. Vincent Lee has not yet reported campaign finance totals.  

Quinton Lucas — Lucas is in his first term on the city council, representing the Third District in the east part of the city. He is currently a private attorney and teaches at the University of Kansas School of Law. In 2016, he sponsored an ordinance that caps tax incentives for developers, with exemptions for distressed areas determined by the city. He has also been behind efforts to motivate developers to build more affordable housing. Lucas has $229,120 cash on hand, according to the latest campaign finance report. 

Steve Miller — Miller is an attorney in Kansas City. He previously served as chairman of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission, where he oversaw billions of dollars in infrastructure projects, even as the Missouri Department of Transportation saw significant budget cuts. According to his website, Miller is focused on improving the city's infrastructure, including the streetcar expansion. Miller's latest campaign finance reports shows $252,281 cash on hand. 

Jermaine Reed — Reed is in his second term on the Kansas City Council, representing the city's 3rd District. First elected in 2011, he became the youngest person to serve on the council. Reed also serves on the board for the National League of Cities. He's spent much of his time on the council advocating for Kansas City's historic 18th and Vine District, where he lives. He also pushed a measure to ban employers from asking about criminal history on job applications. According to the latest campaign finance reports, Reed has $76,005 cash on hand. 

Scott Taylor — Taylor is in his second term on the Kansas City Council, representing the 6th district in south Kansas City. He’s a private attorney. Last year, Taylor introduced a “Revive the East Side” campaign aimed at increasing jobs and economic development in neglected parts of the city. He was a vocal opponent of Edgemoor, the developer selected to build the new terminal at KCI; Taylor supported Burns and McDonnell for the project. As of his last campaign finance report, Taylor had $177,000 cash on hand.

Scott Wagner — Wagner is currently Kansas City’s Mayor Pro Tem. He is serving a second term on the city council, representing the 1st district in the Northland. He is a small business owner with background in marketing and public relations. Over the last year, Wagner has worked to implement a rental inspection program to help renters who live in unsanitary or unsafe conditions. That issue became the subject of a citizen initiative petition after it failed to advance in council. He has also taken a role in the city's effort to exert greater oversight of the troubled American Jazz Museum. Wagner’s latest campaign finance report shows $24,458 cash on hand.

Lisa Rodriguez is a reporter and the afternoon newscaster for KCUR 89.3. Follow her on Twitter @larodrig


Slow news days are a thing of the past. As KCUR’s news director, I want to cut through the noise, provide context to the headlines, and give you news you can use in your daily life – information that will empower you to make informed decisions about your neighborhood, your city and the region. Email me at lisa@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @larodrig.
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