Jason Kander is a husband, a father, a fifth-generation Kansas Citian and a former Army Captain who served in Afghanistan. A former State Representative from Kansas City and Missouri Secretary of State, Jason is running for Mayor of Kansas City.
Jason got his start in public service by serving Kansas City in the Missouri House of Representatives. On the budget committee, he made sure we got our fair share of state resources. He worked on issues like keeping state jobs here when folks were trying to move them to Jefferson City, transit funding for Kansas City, support for the zoo, and funding for UMKC and for the arts. Jason worked with elected officials on both sides of the aisle to try to address economic border war issues. As Missouri's Secretary of State, he led a 250-employee office with a $45 million budget, managed multi-million-dollar government projects, made it easier to do business in our state, and worked with accelerators and incubators in Kansas City to help cultivate the startup scene.
The values instilled in him by his parents, who were both juvenile probation officers (with his dad working as a police officer at night), are why he felt a calling to military service following 9/11. Jason volunteered to serve as a military intelligence officer in Afghanistan, where he investigated groups and individuals suspected of corruption, espionage, drug trafficking, and facilitating Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Jason’s commanders described him as an “outstanding leader” and the Afghan Intelligence Watch Commander said Jason’s “hard work directly resulted in arresting enemies and saving lives.”
After his deployment, Jason came home to Kansas City, becoming a leadership instructor in the Missouri Army National Guard’s Officer Candidate School at Fort Leonard Wood, where he trained hundreds of soldiers to lead troops into combat.
Jason, the first millennial in the country to be elected to statewide office, is the president of Let America Vote, which he started in February 2017 to fight back against proposals across the country that make it harder for eligible voters to exercise their constitutional right to cast a ballot. The Democratic National Committee appointed Jason, who in June of 2017 POLITICO called “the hottest star in Democratic politics,” to chair the Commission to Protect American Democracy from the Trump Administration. Jason’s Crooked Media-backed podcast, Majority 54, debuted at No. 1 when it launched in November 2017. His memoir, “Outside the Wire: Ten Lessons I've Learned in Everyday Courage” was published in August 2018 and is a New York Times bestseller.
Jason is a graduate of American University and Georgetown Law School. He lives in South Kansas City with his wife, Diana, an entrepreneur, and their four-year-old son, True.