Alissia Canady, a strong finisher in April primary, backs Lucas in KC mayor’s race

Former mayoral contender Alissia Canady threw her support behind Quinton Lucas’ campaign for Kansas City mayor on Thursday, calling on those who voted for her in the April primary to back him in what appears to be a tight race with Jolie Justus.

“I ask those that have supported me for me being authentic, for me being transparent, for me being committed to the community, to work with me as I work with Quinton to accomplish the things that we set out to do — to grow Kansas City together,” said Canady, a first-term councilwoman who represents the 5th District.

Canady captured 13.5 percent of the vote in the 11-way primary for mayor, placing third behind council colleagues Justus, (22.8 percent) and Lucas (18.4 percent).

Her strong showing — placing ahead of several candidates with far more money — appeared the result of robust community support and a network of volunteers.

At a mid-morning announcement Lucas, 3rd District at-large, said he was honored to have Canady’s support. He said the two share similar backgrounds and noted that in the primary she talked about major issues, including affordable housing, transportation and violent crime.

“She ran an outstanding race,” Lucas said. “She has been an outstanding city councilwoman who was not just bold, but somebody who was working every day to make sure we had the best interests of so many in our community, particularly those who often feel like they’re voiceless.”

Canady said that after the primary she evaluated who was best suited to lead Kansas City.

“Regardless of the differences Quinton and I may have had over the years, one thing that has been consistent about him — his ability to get things done,” Canady said, adding she believed ability was just as important as credibility, an issue Lucas has had to battle on the campaign trail.

Justus, 4th District, has called his reliability into question, and Canady said previously he can be difficult to pin down on issues.

Canady added above credibility and ability, accountability is most important for a mayor.

“You guys have watched me hold him accountable at different stages — sometimes we make people uncomfortable, and I’ll continue to do that because of the relationship that we have and because of our shared commitment to Kansas City residents,” Canady said.

Lucas and Canady stood opposed earlier this year on the renaming of The Paseo for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Eventually, the council passed the name change with his support and without hers.

She said Thursday that the two of them had agreed to work together on a solution to honor King even as a group of petitioners seeks to undo the change.

Canady joins several council colleagues who have waded into the mayor’s race with an endorsement.

Mayor Sly James, who leaves office when the new mayor enters in August, endorsed Justus in the primary.

Earlier this week, each candidate snagged an endorsement from the Northland. Councilwoman Heather Hall, 1st District, running unopposed for reelection, endorsed Justus.

“I have decided to support Jolie Justus for Mayor not because our politics align, but because I believe in any organization, whether government, business, or in a family, consistency is necessary to thrive,” Hall said in a news release. “She has proven in the 4 years to be consistent in thought and vote and that’s why she has my support to be the next mayor of Kansas City.”

Councilwoman Teresa Loar, 2nd District at-large, also unopposed, supports Lucas.

“Since he joined the Council four years ago, I’ve been impressed with his ability to relate to people from all walks of life, which will be a crucial skill for our next mayor,” Loar said. “I’m endorsing him because he is committed to continuing the progress we have seen and to sharing that progress with citizens from every neighborhood, while improving our basic services in all parts of our city.”

Interestingly, neither candidate is supported by their district council mate. Councilman Jermaine Reed, 3rd District, who is term-limited and ran unsuccessfully for mayor, is backing Justus. Councilwoman Katheryn Shields, 4th District at-large, who is running for reelection, backed Lucas.

Justus has support from Councilman Kevin McManus, 6th District, who is running unopposed for reelection, and Councilman Dan Fowler, 2nd District, who faces an opponent.

Justus was also endorsed Thursday by the Northland Regional PAC, the political spending arm of the Northland Regional Chamber of Commerce. She was endorsed in April by Forward KC, a Northland advocacy group.

Former Northland Councilman Ed Ford said in a release the PAC was impressed by Justus’ leadership in bringing a new single terminal to Kansas City International Airport.

“We believe she is the best candidate to make sure the progress we’ve seen in Kansas City over the last 8 years for jobs growth, job retention, and economic development continues,” Ford said. “Jolie has been a strong advocate for Northland progress on the City Council and we know she’ll make a great mayor.”

Related stories from Kansas City Star

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.