Get ready, elections in Missouri are just around the corner. This time, the elections are for the very important local races, for the individuals elected to serve and represent us in the important issues that impact us everyday.
Those races include city council and school board members in Kansas City.
On Tues., April 4, voters will go to the polls for the primaries, which will reduce the candidates down to two per race – who will then advance to the general election on Tues., Aug. 8.
In Kansas City, all 12 of the council seats are up for election, with candidates represented from six districts. One of the representatives from the district is voted on by members of the district only. The other district representative is an at-large position with all residents of the city voting in each of the six at-large district races.
Members of the city council are limited to serving two four-year terms This time, half of the members have reached their term limit, opening up six seats. But that doesn’t make a difference, all but one incumbent drew a challenger.
KC Mayor Quinton Lucas is up for reelection to his second term. Opposing him is Andrew E. McGuire. In 2021, McGuire filed a civil rights lawsuit against the City of Kansas City, MO; the Missouri Dept. of Revenue; Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker; and the mayor personally. He was obviously upset about something and still hopes to make the mayor pay.
Of course, we’re going to focus on Districts 3 and 5, the districts traditionally held by African Americans. The District 3 in-district seat is currently held by Melissa Robinson, who is eligible to run again. She has one opponent, Sheri Hall, who is CEO of Poetry for Personal Power.
The District 3 at-large seat is currently held by Brandon Ellington. He has one contender, Melissa Patterson Hazley, Ph.D.. Halsey is director of Community Research, Training and Evaluation at UMKC. Story is the founder of Change the Key, a music education and outreach program for disadvantaged youth.
Ellington had a “spat” with Freedom, Inc., President Rodney Bland, so he’s out of favor with the Eastside political power brokers who appear to be backing Hazley. Darron Story, who formed a committee to run and was endorsed by former KC Mayor Sly James, decided not to run.
The District 5 seat is currently held by Ryana Parks-Shaw and the at-large seat is held by Lee Barnes. Parks-Shaw is eligible for reelection. Barnes has hit his term limit.
Parks-Shaw initially drew an interested opponent, Desmond Logan, aka “Cash Car,” who withdrew. So, Parks-Shaw is the one incumbent without an opponent.
With Barnes out of the race, the field to replace him seemed full of stellar contenders. What initially had the potential to be a crowded field of five, is officially three candidates with one candidate indicating he’s running as a write-in candidate. Officially on the ballot are Darrell Curls, Theresa Cass Galvin and Michael Kelley.
Curls is another member of the politically active Curls family. He previously served on the Hickman Mills School Board.
Theresa Cass Galvin, who served eight years as a Jackson County Legislator and most recently vied in the November election against Frank White for Jackson County Executive, is in this race. She brings considerable name recognition to this at-large race that involves gathering votes citywide.
Michael Kelley is a project director for BikeWalkKC, and Kansas City businessman Chuck Byrd says he’s confidently moving forward with a write-in campaign for the race. His task, he says, is to get enough votes to be in the top two and then he will get his name on the ballot for the August general election. Byrd is the owner of Jim’s Disposal Service and a long-time board member of the Black Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City.
Erick Dickinson, president of Urban Ranger Corps,who has spent 30 years serving children and families in Kansas City, pulled out of the race.
There may be more African-American candidates running in other districts since African Americans are not just limited to representing Districts 3 and 5. As the African-American community continues to move out of the urban core, increased diversity will lead to more diversity in the candidates running and winning in other districts. A good quality candidate can win wherever they run.
So far, we’ve found Cecelia Carter running to represent District 6. She’s lived in and has been an active member of the district and the Kansas City community for 20 years. Carter, a retired executive, serves on many high-powered boards across the city.
Other District Races Summary
District 1 – Heather Hall is not seeking reelection due to term limits. There are two candidates in this race.
District 1 At-Large – Kevin O’Neill is seeking reelection. He has two opponents.
District 2 – Dan Fowler is not seeking reelection due to term limits. Only one candidate filed for this seat. A write-in could easily pass to the general election.
District 2 At-Large – Teresa Loar is not seeking reelection due to term limits. There are three candidates in this race.
District 4 – Eric Bunch is seeking reelection. Bunch has two opponents.
District 4 At-Large – Katheryn Shields is not seeking reelection due to term limits. Five candidates are vying for her seat.
District 6 – Kevin McManus is not seeking reelection due to term limits. There are five candidates in this race. District 6 At-Large – Andrea Bough is seeking reelection. She has two competitors.