Who will replace Sly James as mayor of Kansas City? Meet the candidates vying for the city’s top job.
Jason Kander built a fundraising juggernaut before he left the KC mayoral race on Oct. 2, collecting over $500,000 in his single quarter as a candidate, according to a report filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission late Monday.
Kander, the former Missouri Secretary of State who ended his campaign to seek treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, raised nearly three times as much as the other eight candidates combined in the quarter ending Sept. 30: $514,763 to $179,392.
After expenses, Kander had $418,284 cash on hand. His campaign said it plans to return the remaining money to donors, who also have the option of giving it to Let America Vote, the national organization Kander founded to protect voting rights.
Construction attorney Steve Miller led the remaining field with $62,850 in contributions. He has $252,402 in cash on hand. City Councilman Scott Taylor, who held an overwhelming cash advantage in the early stages of the race, still has the biggest war chest but not by much. His report shows $264,630 in the bank. Taylor raised $12,775 in the third quarter.
Councilman Quinton Lucas raised $33,325 and has $212,586 in cash on hand. Mayor Pro Tem Scott Wagner had the best fundraising quarter of the five City Council incumbents in the race during that period, collecting $38,606. He has just $20,155 in the bank.
Kander, a surprise entry into the race in late June, immediately reaped dividends from his name recognition as a successful statewide candidate and rising star in national Democratic politics. He drew heavily from the city’s legal and business community and wealthy donors on both coasts.
Major contributions included New York restaurateur Daniel Meyer ($3,325), philanthropist Ann Rubenstein Tisch, wife of Loews co-chairman Andrew Tisch, ($2,500), barbeque icon Ollie Gates ($3,325) and comedian and Kansas City native Jason Sudeikis ($2,500).
Miller, former chairman of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission, continued to receive support from the city’s corporate sector, including former Sprint CEO Dan Hesse ($2,000), construction company owner James Kissick ($3,325), and James Ferrell, chairman and CEO of Ferrellgas, the propane supplier ($1,000).
Taylor and Lucas — who sit on the council’s Planning, Zoning and Economic Development committee (Taylor as chairman) — received generous contributions from the real estate industry and the attorneys who represent its interests at City Hall. Donors include Block Real Estate ($2,000 to Lucas, $500 to Taylor) and developer attorney Roxsen Koch of the Polsinelli firm ($500 to each).
Wagner, who has struggled with fundraising, drew big contributions from labor, including Pipe Fitters Local 533 ($3,325) and Sheet Metal Workers Local 2 ($500). He also collected numerous small donations from the Northland, where he is the District 1 at-large representative.
Here’s what the other candidates reported:
▪ Councilwoman Jolie Justus, who left the mayor’s race when Kander entered and then returned last week after he got out, raised $5,900 running for her re-election to her District 4 seat. She has $102,316 in cash on hand for the mayoral race.
▪ Crossroads businessman Phil Glynn raised $21,435 in third quarter and has $62,653 cash on hand.
▪ Councilman Jermaine Reed raised $233, and has $76,085 in the bank.
▪ Councilwoman Alissia Canady raised $9,872 and has $32,491 cash on hand.
▪ Businesswoman and community activist Rita Berry filed a limited activity report, meaning she had no significant contributions.