All 12 Kansas City council seats and the mayor’s office will be candidates in the April 4 primary election.
A total of 40 candidates are running for city council seats, with seven sitting council members seeking re-election. Candidates running for “in-district” seats are elected by voters residing in that district. All Kansas City voters have a say in who gets elected to the six “at-large” seats.
April 4 will serve as the primary election: the two candidates with the most votes in each race will advance to the general election on June 20.
Here are the confirmed candidates for the ballot at Tuesday’s filing deadline:
Quinton Lucas is in the running for a second term against Andrew McGuire.
- Chris Gahagan: A Northland resident, Gahagan is a Northland resident who has served on the Clay County Constitution Commission since 2020. The commission created a Clay County constitution that was approved by 80 percent of voters.
- Nathan Willett: Willett is currently a math teacher for the Park Hill School District. Previously he taught public schools in Kansas City.
- Richard Sayles: Sayles is retired from the Kansas City Police Department, where he was a captain.
- Wesley Rogers: Rogers was a Democrat in the Missouri House of Representatives from 2019 to 2023. He represented District 18, which includes a portion of Kansas City’s Northland.
- Melissa Robinson, incumbent: Robinson is running for a second term. She recently sponsored legislation supporting a commission to explore reparations for black citizens of Kansas. Previously, she served as director of crisis intervention with the Ad Hoc Crime Group.
- Sheri Hall: Hall is a local poet and was named Female Spoken Word Artist of the Year at the 2020 National Spoken Word Awards.
- Eric Bunch, incumbent: Bunch is running for his second term. Recently, he advocated legislative reform for Kansas City’s short-term rental program. He is co-founder of BikeWalkKC.
- Crissy Dastrup: Dastrup founded the local non-profit Troost Market Collective and currently serves as chairman of the board and is vice president of the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association. For two years, Dastrup was a legislative assistant to Eric Bunch, the current fourth district councilor.
- Henry Rizzo: Rizzo served as a Missouri state representative from 1985 to 2003 and then served in the Jackson County Legislature until 2006.
- Ryana Parks-Shaw, incumbent: Parks-Shaw is running for her second term. She is on City Hall’s Houseless Task Force and helped develop a plan for the city to end homelessness.
- Desmund Logan: Logan is one of the organizers of the Smoke Your Tires Not Your Homies events, which focus on preventing violence.
- Cecelia Carter: Carter currently serves on several boards of directors, including the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Kansas City, the Children’s Mercy Hospital Foundation, and the Kansas City Employees Retirement System.
- Dan Tarwater: Tarwater has served in the Jackson County Legislature since 1994.
- Johnathan Duncan: Duncan is a veteran of the Iraq War. He is one of the first candidates to run with the backing of KC Tenants Power, the political lobbying arm of KC Tenants.
- Michael Schuckman: Schuckman grew up in Lee’s Summit and currently works for the Kansas City Water Services Department.
- Tiffany Moore: Moore is co-chair of the Kansas City Neighborhood Advisory Council, which works with the Kansas City government to represent neighborhood interests.
1st general district
- Kevin O’Neill, incumbent: O’Neill is seeking his second term and is an advocate for unions and workers’ rights in Kansas City’s Northland. For nearly 30 years he was editor and publisher of the Kansas City Labor Beacon.
- Pam Mason: Mason served as the Clay County Presidential Commissioner, and was the county clerk before that. She and her husband, who was the county auditor, were sued for building a wall in the courthouse without approval in 2006.
- Ronda Smith: Smith previously worked in real estate and now works for a property management company. Her husband is a retired Kansas City police officer.
2nd general district
- Jenay Manley: Born and raised in Northland, Manley is a leader with KC Tenants, the city’s tenants union, and an early candidate to run with the support of KC Tenants Power Group.
- Lindsay French: French is an entrepreneur and also lead designer at TJP Strategies, a consulting firm.
- Matthew Mauer: Mauer served 30 years with the Kansas City Fire Department, including as a captain and battalion chief.
- Mickey Younghanz: Younghanz ran for a Missouri State Senate seat in 2020 but lost.
3rd General District
- Brandon Ellington, incumbent: Ellington is running for his second term. Prior to city council, he served in the Missouri House of Representatives as a Democrat for eight years representing District 22.
- Darron Story: Story recently dropped out of the race and endorsed Melissa Patterson Hazley.
- Melissa Patterson Hazley: Patterson Hazley is a researcher and director of education, research and community assessment at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Institute for Human Development.
4th general district
- Katheryn Shields, incumbent: Shields is seeking a second term. She served as a Jackson County Executive from 1995 to 2006.
- Crispin Rea: Rea spent seven years in the Jackson County Attorney’s Office, mostly in the Special Victims Unit. He was also a social worker with the Kansas City No Violence Alliance.
- Grace Cabrera: Cabrera is a Cuban immigrant whose family fled the country during Fidel Castro’s regime and has compared the political and media environment of the United States to the socialist policies her family fled.
- Jessica Blubaugh: Blubaugh was raised in Manhattan, KS and serves as Chief Philanthropy Officer of the United Way of Greater Kansas City. She is also a member and advocate of the Kansas City LGBTQ community.
- John DiCapo: DiCapo’s family has owned Italian Gardens Pizzeria in Kansas City since the 1920s.
- Justin Short: Short grew up in Northland and now lives downtown. He represents the 4th District on the LGBTQ Commission.
5th general district
- Darrell Curls: Curls is a member of the South Kansas City Alliance and was previously chairman of the Hickman Mills School Board.
- Erik Dickinson: Dickinson serves on the board of the city’s Housing Trust Fund and is president of the Urban Ranger Corps, a local nonprofit.
- Michael Kelley: Kelley is the director of policy at BikeWalkKC and a member of the Environmental Management Commission.
- Charles Byrd: Byrd is president of Jim’s Disposal Services, a solid waste management company, and serves on the board of the Greater Kansas City Black Chamber of Commerce.
- Theresa Cass Galvin: Galvin recently served in the Jackson County Legislature. Last year, Galvin lost the race for the county executive seat to Frank White.
6th General District
- Andrea Bough, incumbent: Bough is looking for a second mandate. He is a licensed attorney with experience in commercial real estate, land use and development.
- Jill Sasse: Sasse is a former public school teacher.
- Mary Nestel: Nestel is the owner of Nestel Insurance Agency.
More voting questions
- Marijuana Tax: Proposes a 3% local sales tax on non-medical marijuana purchases. Kansas City residents living in Jackson County will also vote on whether to institute a county-wide 3 percent marijuana sales tax.
- Short Term Rental Tax: Offers a 7.5% tax on short term rentals in Kansas City.
- Occupancy Tax: This proposes increasing the current occupancy fee for hotels and motels from $1.50 a night to $3 and requires short-term rentals to pay the fee.
What to know to vote
The last day to register to vote in time for the April 4 election is March 8. Due to Missouri’s new law, you must show a valid government-issued photo ID at the polls. Accepted identification documents include a Missouri driver’s license, US passport, or a veteran’s ID card.
You can check the status of your voter registration on the Kansas City Board of Elections website or the Missouri Secretary of State’s website.