Best of KC 2022: A political pioneer

manny abarca and children

Manny Abarca reads to a class. // Courtesy Manny Abarca campaign

This month, we published The Pitch’s annual Best of Kansas City issue. You can browse the results of the readers’ poll here. The issue also included a list, compiled and written by our editorial staff, of some of our current favorite things about Kansas City in 2022. We’ll be publishing these items online throughout November. 


Manuel “Manny” Abarca energized voters en route to earning 58% of the Democratic primary vote Aug. 2, topping a spirited three-way between himself, Justice Horn, and Geoff Gerling to become the party’s nominee for Jackson County Legislator 1st District.

Abarca is the first Hispanic member to be elected to the county legislature in nearly a decade. Representing the district with the highest percentage of Hispanic residents in the county, Abarca follows Theresa Garza, the last Latino to serve as a county legislator. 

Both a KCPS Board Member and Treasurer for District 3, Abarca grew up in south Kansas City as the son and grandson of union truck drivers. He has also served as Rep. Emanuel Cleaver’s deputy district director. 

Categories: Politics