In the crowded Democratic presidential primary, one candidate stood out to former Kansas City Mayor Sly James precisely because he, too, has served as mayor.
James joined more than 50 current and former U.S. mayors Wednesday in throwing their support behind Mayor Pete Buttigieg, of South Bend, Indiana. Buttigieg, first elected in 2012, is running for the Democratic nomination to face President Donald Trump next year.
James said in a statement that “mayors can’t get away with the type of partisan fighting and gridlock we’ve seen in Washington.”
“They get things done,” he said. “Pete is the right person to heal our nation and unite us to meet the most pressing challenges of our time around climate, health care and equity.”
James, who left office last month after eight years, was the only Missouri mayor listed as a Buttigieg supporter. He was joined by two Kansas mayors: Michelle De La Isla of Topeka and former Hays Mayor Henry Schwaller.
Buttigieg visited Kansas City in July and toured a tiny home village for veterans alongside now-Mayor Quinton Lucas and former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander.
Kander dropped out of the race for Kansas City mayor last year and is now leading an expansion of the Veterans Community Project.