The Buzz

Mayoral endorsements starting to roll in, although big players yet to reveal choices

Who will replace Sly James as mayor of Kansas City? Meet the candidates vying for the city’s top job.

Meet the candidates running for mayor of Kansas City.
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Meet the candidates running for mayor of Kansas City.

There’s only five weeks — and a whole lot of campaigning — left before Kansas Citians head to the polls in a mayoral primary where, by all accounts, lots of voters remain undecided.

For the field of 11 candidates, that makes these next few weeks essential to build name recognition, distinguish themselves from one another and lock down endorsements. And while the selections by individuals, civic and business leaders and unions have started to roll in, many heavyweight political groups have yet to back a candidate.

Freedom Inc., the city’s major black political group, and Forward Kansas City, of the Northland, announced their endorsements of Councilman Quinton Lucas and construction attorney Steve Miller, respectively, in the last few weeks.

But the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and Civic Council’s combined political arm, KC BizPAC, has yet to weigh in.

Mayor Sly James hasn’t put his arm around any of his possible successors. Neither has his predecessor, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II, D-Kansas City.

In a crowded race that will be defined by name recognition, having the backing of high-profile Kansas City groups could be a boon to candidates.

The endorsements campaigns have released so far:

Jolie Justus

Kay Barnes, former Kansas City mayor

Mamie Hughes, former Jackson County legislator and community activist

Gail McCann Beatty, former Missouri House Democratic leader

Missouri Rep. Greg Razer, D-Kansas City

Jason Kander, former Missouri secretary of state and Kansas City mayoral candidate

Jeremy LaFaver, former Missouri representative

CiCi Rojas, former Hispanic Chamber of Commerce CEO

Patty Garney, philanthropist and Northland community leader

LGBTQ Victory Fund

LPAC. an LGBTQ advocacy group

PROMO PAC, an LGBTQ advocacy group

Steve Miller

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va.

Forward Kansas City

John Fairfield, former councilman

Ed Ford, former councilman and vice president of Forward

Bill Skaggs, former state representative and councilman

Bonnie Sue Cooper, former state representative and councilwoman

Scott Wagner

Iron Workers Local 10

Pipefitters Local 553

Sheriff Mark Owen, Platte County

Yvonne Wilson, former state senator

Jackson County Legislator Dan Tarwater

Kristie Collins, Raytown Quality Schools board chair

Terry Stone, North Kansas City school board

Scott Taylor

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 124

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 53

Phil Glynn

Missouri Rep. Wes Rogers, D-Kansas City, North

Ron Lindsay, pastor, Concord Fortress of Hope Church

Quinton Lucas

Freedom, Inc.

Jermaine Reed

The campaign said in an email Reed has pending endorsements it could not release at time of publication.

Alissia Canady

In a text, Canady said her campaign was awaiting confirmation from groups and has received personal endorsements from community, civic and faith leaders. She had not provided a list at time of publication.

Clay Chastain

Refused to provide

Vincent Lee

Did not provide

Henry Klein

Did not respond to request

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Allison Kite reports on City Hall and local politics for The Star. She joined the paper in February 2018 and covered Midterm election races on both sides of the state line. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism with minors in economics and public policy from the University of Kansas.