Tom Lovell, a former longtime Lee’s Summit Parks and Recreation administrator, announced earlier this month that he intends to run for a seat in the Missouri House of Representatives next year.
Lovell seeks to replace State Rep. Gary Cross in the 35th district. Cross cannot seek reelection due to term limits.
Lovell retired in April after 38 years with the city’s parks and recreation department. According to a news release, he recently founded Lovell and Associates LLC, where he works with other park and recreation organizations to develop strategic and tactical strategies for organizational development and effectiveness.
“My work history has provided me a unique and invaluable insight into the operations of our local government,” Lovell said in a statement. “My top priority is and always has been providing for my community. I have lived in Lee’s Summit for 38 years, and it has afforded me great experiences and an intimate knowledge of the area and its people. I will pair this knowledge with a straightforward approach to governance and problem-solving.”
Lovell also has served as president of numerous community organizations — including the Lee’s Summit Optimist Club, Lee’s Summit Rotary Club, the Missouri Parks and Recreation Association, and the American Academy for Parks and Recreation Administration. He also is actively involved with the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce, Powell Gardens Board, and The Foundations for Our Future.
Previously, Lovell served as the chairman of the Kansas City Metropolitan Parks and Recreation Directors Association and, presently, he serves as chairman of the Missouri Central Credit Union Board.
“I am honored to have served in a variety of leadership positions throughout my career,” Lovell said in a statement. “To me, leadership is a willingness to work collaboratively to address challenges with innovative and best practice approaches to provide short and long term solutions. I believe we need to identify solutions that move us toward a better Missouri. Vince Lombardi said ‘we strive for perfection and in its pursuit we will achieve excellence.’ This is the attitude I hope to bring to Jefferson City.”
Lovell noted long-term highway and transportation infrastructure and strengthening outcomes for Missouri students as two challenges the state currently faces.
He believes it should be a priority “to continue to fully fund the foundation formula ... but we also need to focus on increasing overall student and school district performance,” Lovell said. “Every student should have access to a high quality education.”
Lovell’s other priorities include “fighting the opioid epidemic, protecting right-to-work legislation, supporting state control of the minimum wage, and minimizing unnecessary government regulation.”
Lovell and his wife, Susan, live in Lee’s Summit. They have two grown children, John and Mason, and are the proud grandparents of four grandchildren, ages 3 to 21. Lovell attends the First United Methodist Church of Lee’s Summit.
The news release listed Lovell’s campaign treasurer as Gene Gamber and his deputy treasurer as Julia Hampton. His core leadership team also includes Rick Viar, president of Summit Bank; Nancy Bruns, past CEO and president of Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce; John Lovell, owner of Lovell Group; Mike McCormick, past Lee’s Summit city prosecutor and current legal counsel for the National Stadium Managers Association; Mason Paoli, principal with Populous Architects; and Nancy Kelley, a veteran campaigner.
Lovell has retained Axiom Strategies to consult on his campaign.