Your Candidates for the 2019 Kansas City, Missouri Mayoral Election

It’s voting time Kansas City, and we need to make sure that we are all informed voters during this mayoral election. The primaries for the 2019 mayoral election will be held on Tuesday, April 2 and the general election will be Tuesday, June 25. Currently, there are 11 candidates running for Kansas City Mayor. This upcoming election is a nonpartisan election, in which the candidates do not have to state what political party they are apart of because we are not voting for a candidate from both parties; rather, we are voting for the top two candidates.

Before I get into the nitty-gritty of these mayoral candidates, let’s discuss the importance of being an informed voter, let alone a registered voter. Voting is your legal right and also a significant part of your civic duties as an individual. If you are upset with current legislation in your city, state or country, vote. If you are content with current legislation in your city, state or country, vote. If you are iffy about current legislation in your city, state or country, vote. Do you see the common theme here? Voting gives you the opportunity to make a change in your city, state and country. A great resource to use on finding information about legislature, politicians and elections is Ballotpedia.

The candidates for the 2019 Kansas City, Missouri Mayoral Election are as follows:

1. Alissia Canady

Canady is on her first-term of the Kansas City council and she represents District Five. The biggest parts of her campaign include improving the economic development of Kansas City, specifically in areas with a lower income. Councilwoman Canady, along with several of the other candidates, is for expanding the Kansas City streetcar. Her approach and drive are all about improving communities in Kansas City. She wants to focus on the smaller communities and build them up,  therefore uplifting all of the city.

2. Clay Chastain

Chastain is most known for wanting to develop and install a light rail in Kansas City several years ago when Union Station wasn’t being used like it is today. Interestingly enough, his permanent address is actually in Virginia even though he is still running for mayor of Kansas City for the fourth time. He is passionate about changing transportation within Kansas City.

3. Phil Glynn

Glynn is the president of Travois, a business that helps support families that come from American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian communities. As a small business owner, he plans to focus on improving small communities to better Kansas City as a whole. One of his goals is to work on supporting Senior Citizens by reassuring them that they will have a quality life and the benefits to maintain a comfortable lifestyle. Another focus of his is spending the city’s tax dollars in a responsible and effective manner.

4. Jolie Justus

Justus is on her first term in the city council where she represents District Four. For eight years she also served on the Missouri State Senate where she was known for her reforms in the criminal justice system. Justus has also met with the College Democrats club at UMKC this past year to discuss some of the ideas and actions she wants to take as Kansas City Mayor. A goal of hers is creating a growing momentum for the Kansas City economy. Similarly to the other candidates, she also wants to focus on building up the smaller communities to strengthen all of Kansas City.

5. Henry Klein

Klein is going on his third time running for Mayor of Kansas City and is currently a Bank of America manager in Blue Springs, Missouri. Klein is a very active member of his community and volunteers at several local programs and on committees in Kansas City. A focus of Klein's is to improve the civic engagement of Kansas City and the individuals living here.

6. Vincent Lee

Lee previously ran for Mayor of Kansas City in 2015 but lost to Sly James. His goals include improving healthcare access in lower-income communities and improving the public education system. Public education in the downtown area of Kansas City needs major improvements if the city wants more people past the age of 30 to live downtown. A huge issue the downtown area is facing right now is that young couples are moving out of the city once they start having kids because the public education in the city is below average. If public education is the city was to be improved, there would be an increase of young couples and families staying in the metro area if it was feasible for them.  

7. Quinton Lucas

Lucas is on his first term of city council where he represents District Three. His background includes work as a private attorney and teaching at the University of Kansas School of Law. On his website his slogan that states, “If you give me a chance,  I’ll give you a choice.” He believes that investing in Kansas City as a whole is investing in the families and individuals that live here too.

8. Steve Miller

Miller is most known for his work with MoDOT where he served as a chair member for two terms, but he is currently an attorney. Miller wants to work on improving the infrastructure of Kansas City, the streetcar and improving resources for lower-income communities. A notable point to make is that Kansas City’s infrastructure is incredibly outdated; for example, most of the water piping and sewage system at the Plaza hasn’t been updated since the 1950s and some since the 1920s. A lot of the untreated water runoff is polluting Brush Creek currently. (So, if you have an ecology or environmental science lab at UMKC expect to do some water pollution testing at Brush Creek.)

9. Jermaine Reed

Reed is currently the youngest person to have been elected onto the Kansas City council where he has represented District Three for the past two terms. He has been pushing for a wage increase for ex-offenders who have “paid their debt to society,” because they should have an income that they can actually live off of. His goal is to improve Kansas City as a whole by bringing large and diverse groups of individuals together to then get a better understanding of what we should be doing to help one another.

10. Scott Taylor

Taylor is on his second term in the city council, representing District Six. He has a background in education and is a huge advocate for improving education across Kansas City. He was a lead sponsor on the ordinance for increasing the legal age of 18 to buy cigarettes to now 21 in the Kansas City area. Taylor is also on the City Energy Project Advising Committee where he has worked on reducing utility costs for smaller or single income families. The energy crisis in Kansas City is often under-reported. I recently attended a panel discussion at Park University where speakers from the EPA, UMKC and environmental legislators spoke about the environmental needs of Kansas City. At this panel discussion, I learned that there is a cargo train that comes from Wisconsin every five minutes that is full of coal to power a large portion of Kansas City, and there is currently new legislation out where that five minutes will turn to every 15 minutes instead.

11. Scott Wagner

Wagner is serving and has served on the board for the city council where he has focused on housing and transportation projects. Wagner, like many of the other candidates, is from the Kansas City area where he attended William Jewell College. He now also is the owner of a marketing firm, which aids his main goal of improving the tourism factor of Kansas City.  

Since this article only briefly explains the candidates running in the Kansas City mayoral primary election, I still encourage all of you to read and research all of the candidates before making a decision. And remember, GO VOTE!