The election is still a year away, but people are lining up to replace Kansas City Mayor Sly James when he leaves office in 2019.
James is term-limited and cannot run when his current term ends next year. Eight people so far have thrown their hats in the ring, including five current city council members. Others are rumored to be considering a run.
Here's a list of everyone who has either formally announced or formed a campaign committee.
This list is in alphabetical order. We'll update it as more candidates announce.
2019 Mayoral Candidates
Rita Berry — Berry is a Kansas City businesswoman. A former general manager at gospel station KGGN 890 AM, Berry now spends much of her time volunteering at her church, helping young mothers learn to manage their finances while they get a degree. Berry says helping out with her family's funeral home business has given her a firsthand view of Kansas City's devastating gun problem. She says as a non-politician, she puts people first. According to the latest campaign finance report, Berry had zero cash on hand.
Alissia Canady — Canady is a first-term Kansas City councilwoman, representing the 5th district in the south and east parts of the city. She is currently a private attorney. Previously, she was an assitant prosecuting attorney for Jackson County. Canady is running on an initiative to promote equitable economic development in all parts of Kansas City and increasing funding for mental health programs. Canady announced her bid for mayor in June, so there are no campaign finance reports available so far.
Phil Glynn — Glynn owns a small business in Kansas City's Crossroads District that finances and supports housing and development projects in American Indian communities. Glynn was previously a member of Kansas City's TIF commission, which awards incentives to developers, but he was removed after he voted against a plan to approve incentives to build the BNIM headquarters in the Crossroads. According to the latest campaign finance reports, Glynn had $58,448 cash on hand.
Jolie Justus — Justus is in her first term on the Kansas City Council, representing the 4th district. She is currently a private attorney and previously served the Kansas City area in the Missouri Senate. Justus is the head of the city's airport committee, which led the campaign for a new terminal at KCI. She is also an advocate for expanding the streetcar line. According to her latest campaign finance report, Justus has $94,886 cash on hand.
Steve Miller — Miller is an attorney in Kansas City. He previously served as chairman of the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission, where he oversaw billions of dollars in infrastructure projects, even as the Missouri Department of Transportation saw significant budget cuts. According to his website, Miller is focused on improving the city's infrastructure, including the streetcar expansion. Miller's latest campaign finance reports shows $110,012 cash on hand.
Jermaine Reed — Reed is in his second term on the Kansas City Council, representing the city's 3rd District. First elected in 2011, he became the youngest person to serve on the council. Reed also serves on the board for the National League of Cities. He's spent much of his time on the council advocating for Kansas City's historic 18th and Vine District, where he lives. He also pushed a measure to ban employers from asking about criminal history on job applications. According to the latest campaign finance reports, Reed has $60,815 cash on hand.
Scott Taylor — Taylor is in his second term on the Kansas City Council, representing the 6th district in south Kansas City. He’s a private attorney. Last year, Taylor introduced a “Revive the East Side” campaign aimed at increasing jobs and economic development in neglected parts of the city. He was a vocal opponent of Edgemoor, the developer selected to build the new terminal at KCI; Taylor supported Burns and McDonnell for the project. As of his last campaign finance report, Taylor had $351,531 cash on hand.
Scott Wagner — Wagner is currently Kansas City’s Mayor Pro Tem. He is serving a second term on the city council, representing the 1st district in the Northland. He is a small business owner with background in marketing and public relations. Over the last year, Wagner has worked to implement a rental inspection program to help renters who live in unsanitary or unsafe conditions. That issue became the subject of a citizen initiative petition after it failed to advance in council. He has also taken a role in the city's effort to exert greater oversight of the troubled American Jazz Museum. Wagner’s latest campaign finance report shows $27,662 cash on hand.
Lisa Rodriguez is a reporter and the afternoon newscaster for KCUR 89.3. Follow her on Twitter @larodrig.