Jackson County gets four new faces for Legislature

Joe Jarosz
Northeast News
Nov. 5, 2014

KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Jackson County Democrats had nothing to worry about on Election Night, unlike other Democrats across the country.

As Republicans picked up enough Senate seats to regain the majority, Jackson County stayed remained blue.

Mike Sanders won his third, four-year term last Tuesday as county executive over two challengers, Republican Brice Stewart and Independent Richard Tolbert. Sanders won with 60 percent of the vote.

In a press release, Sanders thanked the voters of Jackson County for the trust they have placed in his administration by electing him to another term in office. Having served as both as prosecutor and County Executive, Sanders said he has been blessed with a, “unique opportunity to serve my fellow citizens, and I am both humbled and grateful for this honor.”

“As we move forward, the challenges ahead include balancing the county budget while continuing to make critical investments for the future of our community,” Sanders said. “With the support of the taxpayers of Jackson County and the County Legislature it is a challenge I am eager to face.”

Sanders said he’s also committed to continually working on addressing the ongoing issues of unemployment, violence and poverty by, “promoting effective and responsive government, quality education, job creation, regional transit and economic development.” That work will be done with four new faces on the Jackson County Legislature. Sanders congratulated the new members and said he looks forward to working with them.

One of those new faces is Kansas City Royals Hall of Famer Democrat Frank White as he defeated Republican Weldon Woodward for the First District At-Large seat in Jackson County. The winner replaces Theresa Garza Ruiz, who declined to seek a third term. White won with 67 percent of the vote. White said he was proud of his win because candidates never really know how elections will turn-out.

“I’m honored that people chose me,” White said. “I’m proud of all the support and hard work our campaign had.”

White said as a member of the legislature, strengthening the urban core will be one of his main objectives. He also hopes to improve job growth, expand programs for children and seniors in the county and is looking forward to working with Jackson County COMBAT (Community Backed Anti-Drug Tax) to make the streets safer for everyone in the county.

“Anything that is going to make the standard of living better is important to me,” White said.

While the partisan make-up remains seven Democrats and two Republican, the four new faces is the most turnover in years. Along with White, other newcomers include Democrats Alfred Jordan, 2nd-District, and Tony Miller in the 3rd-District At-Large seat, as well as Republican Theresa Galvin, 6th-District.

City taxes

Kansas City voters overwhelmingly voted down two city sales tax measures. Over 70 percent of voters said no to both questions, which asked voters if the city should impose a sales tax of one – quarter percent for 25 years for the purpose of funding capital improvements and also whether or not Kansas City shall impose a sales tax of one – eighth percent for 25 years for the purpose of providing a source of funds for public transportation purposes.

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