Nine candidates vying for KC mayor seat meet for first debate

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Nine people want to be the next mayor of Kansas City.

Current Mayor Sly James was elected to the seat in 2011 and again in 2015. But next year, he will meet his two-term limit, and a newcomer will take over as leader of Kansas City.

Nine candidates have put their name in the hat. That’s quite a few people to get to know. But all of them believe they are the best person to lead the city. Wednesday night, they told residents why at the first mayoral debate.

Watch the debate in the video player above.

The mayor’s race is non-partisan, so candidates don’t run as Democrat or Republican. And you’ll have plenty of time to make your decision. Kansas City residents won’t vote on the seat until June.

The nine candidates are Alissia Canady, Quinton Lucas, Jermaine Reed, Scott Taylor, Scott Wagner, Jason Kander, Rita Berry, Phil Glynn and Steven Miller.

Of the nine candidates, six come from the public sector. Canady, Lucas, Reed, Taylor and Wagner all currently serve on the Kansas City Council. Jason Kander is the former Missouri Secretary of State.

From the private sector, Berry, Glynn and Miller have all found success in various businesses.

They all want to follow in the footsteps of James, who has pursued an aggressive agenda over the past seven years.

So far, he has spearheaded the creation of the downtown streetcar; construction of a new single terminal airport; the tearing down of hundreds of abandoned homes and buildings; the passing of an $800 million bond issue to fix streets and build a new animal shelter; and he`s supported literacy and pre-K programs for children.

What will the next mayor do to improve the lives of Kansas Citians?