Fourth District Councilwoman Jolie Justus has re-entered the mayoral race to succeed Sly James in 2019 with a video announcement posted Thursda, October 11.
Her re-entry comes on the heels of former Secretary of State Jason Kander’s withdrawal from the race announced October 2, citing depression and PTSD symptoms. In her video announcement, Justus thanked Kander.
“I have never been more proud to call you my friend,” she said. “Your courage in the face of a challenge far too many people ignore is an inspiration. I wish the best to you and your family.”
The former Missouri State Senator originally began her run for mayor earlier this year, but dropped out and decided to run again for her current city council seat when Kander joined the race. Justus said she would support Kander’s campaign.
Justus, who is currently chair of the Airport Committee, has had a busy first term on the Kansas City Council.
“I have always put what’s best for this city first,” Justus said in the video announcement, noting her problem-solving during her time on the council.
Now one of nine candidates, Justus will be playing catch-up while focusing on a primary election next Spring.
While more may join the race, the current mayoral candidates are Rita Berry, Alissia Canady, Phil Glynn, Quinton Lucas, Steve Miller, Jermaine Reed, Scott Wagner and Scott Taylor, six of whom are City Council members.
After Justus’ announcement, city council candidate Eric Bunch, who was running fourth district at-large, announced via email that he will be instead vying for the seat Justus is vacating.
“My time in office will be defined by a quest for social justice and economic prosperity for all,” Bunch said, in addition to focusing on transparent government.
Bunch’s main platform remains big ideas for affordable housing and neighborhood reinvestment without displacement, the email said, along with supporting public schools, universal early childhood education and infrastructure.
Indian Mound resident, Geoffrey Jolley, is also running for the 4th District Council seat, as is Jared Campbell, president of the Downtown Neighborhood Association.
While this is most likely not the last Kansas City has seen of Kander, the ever-growing mayoral race and its effects on the city council remain the hot topic more than eight months out from election day.