Kansas City, MO – Jason Kander today announced that he will kick off his campaign for mayor of Kansas City on July 14, 2018. Kander, a former Army captain who served in Afghanistan, previously served Kansas City in the state legislature and was elected Missouri Secretary of State in 201
“The next mayor has the opportunity to shape the future of Kansas City for generations,” Kander said. “I’m running because I am up for that challenge.”
“Kansas Citians deserve a mayor who can guide the progress already underway in our city and help us reach the next level. I’m eager to take the reins on major issues that have developed in recent years – like building the new airport, implementing the infrastructure improvements voters approved through the GO Bonds, and expanding the streetcar. And I want to make sure we continue addressing critical issues like economic inequality, crime, inclusive housing and economic development, and access to a quality education for every child in the city.
“But I also want to tackle problems that aren’t talked about enough, like the fact that too many streets in Kansas City aren’t well lit and are therefore less safe, and that too many residents don’t have convenient access to grocery stores, banks and other basic services. There should be more racial and gender equity in city contracts and programs. City services – from fixing bridges, roads and potholes to customer service across departments – can always be more efficient.
“We’ll know Kansas City is at its absolute best when no one feels they have to move from one part of the city to another, or out of town altogether, to live the life they want and deserve. I’m running for mayor of Kansas City because I want to make sure no matter where you live in the city or how you grew up, you have a chance to build a successful life right here. Under Mayor James’ leadership, Kansas City has made great progress, and it is crucial that whoever follows him builds on that success. That isn’t a short-term project, so our city needs a mayor committed to the job for the long haul. If I’m elected, Kansas Citians can count on me to work tirelessly for them every day for four years, and, if they’ll have me, four more years after that.
“Diana and I are proud to be raising our son as a sixth generation Kansas Citian. I want to do my part to make sure Kansas City is an even better place to live for him, and every other kid in our city, than it has been for my generation,” Kander said.
Kander has the support of leaders from across Kansas City.
“Kansas City deserves a Mayor who can deliver results for everyone across the city from the start, and I believe that’s Jason Kander,” former Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes said. “As a long-time friend and colleague of Jason’s, I’m supporting him for a variety of reasons. Whether it was his military service, as a state representative or as Secretary of State, Jason has committed his life to public service. I know that if elected mayor, he will provide effective and steady leadership for our city for years to come, and I’m confident that he’s the best person to keep Kansas City moving forward.”
“I have dedicated my entire career to serving the people of Kansas City. It would be easy to put my own interests first and turn this election cycle into a long, expensive, and divisive fight, but that does not serve the best interests of the people of Kansas City. That is why I have chosen to run for re-election to the Fourth Council District and work together with Jason to build on the success we’ve enjoyed under Mayor James and tackle the challenges that still remain,” Kansas City Councilwoman Jolie Justus said. “I’ve known Jason for a long time and we share a common vision for our city. I look forward to the future we create together.”
“I’ve known Jason Kander for several years and have always been impressed. More recently, I’ve had the chance to work with him as a fellow board member at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum,” said Mamie Hughes, a former Jackson County Legislator, community volunteer and activist. “I’m convinced he will be an outstanding mayor and I’m pleased to support him.”
“Jason Kander and I share a vision of a Kansas City where no one feels they have to move across town or outside the city limits in order to enjoy basic amenities for themselves or their family. I believe as mayor he can turn his passion into progress for every Kansas Citian and I’m thrilled to stand with him in this campaign,” said Dr. Emanuel Cleaver III, Senior Pastor of St. James United Methodist Church.
“As both a legislator and Secretary of State, Jason was a great advocate for the citizens of Missouri. As mayor he will be committed to improving the lives of all Kansas Citians,” Missouri State House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty said. “He will work hard to continue to make Kansas City a world class city. I am confident that he will approach each day with the same dedication and commitment that he displayed as Secretary of State.
“I first met Jason 17 years ago and served over five years with him in Jefferson City. Jason has always truly cared about Kansas City. It is what drove him to public service after his deployment to Afghanistan in the Army,” Kansas City Councilman Kevin McManus said. “I’m pleased he is running for mayor and am happy to support his campaign.”
“I am excited about Kansas City’s future. A lot of good people are rising to leadership, and one of our best and brightest has decided to invest his energy and ideas in our city by running for mayor. I have known Jason Kander for many years – when he represented Kansas City in Jefferson City, and then when he was elected statewide to be Missouri’s Secretary of State,” Kansas City Councilwoman Teresa Loar said. “His service to our nation in the war on terror was brought vividly to life in a campaign commercial a few years ago as he ran for the US Senate. You know how much I love and respect our veterans! So when Jason Kander told me he was ready to bring his leadership to City Hall, I said “Let’s go!”
“Jason and I served together in the State House, so I saw first hand how hard he worked for his constituents in Kansas City. I’m supporting Jason because I know he’ll do the same as mayor,” Missouri State Senator John Rizzo said. “He’s the best person to tackle the major issues facing our city, but he also digs in on the details. Jason will be a great mayor and will make an outstanding ambassador for Kansas City. I look forward to campaigning with him.”
“I wasn’t planning on endorsing in the race for mayor, but Jason Kander is the right person for the right time for Kansas City,” former Kansas City Mayor Pro Tem Cindy Circo said. “When I served on the city council, I worked with Jason on a wide range of issues impacting every corner of the city. He fought for Kansas City every day as a state representative. He’s going to make a great mayor and I’m proud to support him.”
“Jason Kander has the vision to lead Kansas City for the long haul. While serving our city in the legislature, he always put Kansas City first,” Missouri State Representative Jon Carpenter said. “I’m standing with Jason in his campaign because he’s going to bring out the best in our city. With Jason Kander as our mayor, Kansas City has limitless potential.”
“Jason Kander is an extraordinary leader and I’m proud to support him for mayor of Kansas City,” said CiCi Rojas, business leader and former President and CEO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City. “Our city needs someone that will unite all of us to make Kansas City the best city it can be, and Jason is the best person to get that done. Jason has always been there for Kansas City, and I know he’ll be a wonderful mayor.”
“I’ve known Jason as a friend, neighbor and elected official serving Kansas City. I can’t think of anyone better to serve as the next mayor,” said Jim Heeter, former member of the Kansas City Council and President and CEO of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce. “Kansas Citians can trust Jason to lead us into the next phase of our growth without leaving any part of the city behind. There’s a lot going on in Kansas City right now, and we need a mayor that is up for the challenge. Jason Kander is that person, and I’m proud to support his campaign.”
“I’m excited that Jason Kander is running for mayor of Kansas City. When he was Secretary of State, I ran his Kansas City office. I saw Jason’s work to bring innovation, effective processes and quality services to our city,” said Michele Watley, community advocate and local small business owner. “As mayor, I’m confident Jason will be committed to serving all of Kansas City and can take on the tough challenges we face so we can continue to make Kansas City even better.”
Kander lives with his wife, Diana, and four-year-old son, True, in South Kansas City.