Pick One!


Alvin Brooks

One-line bio: A two-term councilman and admired figure, Brooks goes on radio to ask for crime tips and comforts the families of murder victims, making him a parish priest of the black community.

Campaign guru: Pat Gray, who managed the successful campaigns of Kay Barnes and last spring’s push for taxpayer-funded renovations of the sports complex.

Rich and powerful donors: Lawyer John Kurtz and his wife, Patricia, a former Kansas City, Missouri, School Board member ($9,000); law firm White Goss Bowers ($1,750 from various individuals); Buck O’Neil ($1,000)

Base of support: Conventional wisdom says that support is wide and Brooks is a favorite to advance past the primary.

What he has that others lack: Name recognition

Sworn enemy: Attention-hungry comic-book artist and community activist Alonzo Washington, who called Brooks a sellout and an Uncle Tom for what Washington deemed to be a meek response to the release of the Sofia Salva police tape.

Playing against type: In hiring Pat Gray, the warm and positive Brooks went with a campaign manager who has been known to get his hands dirty (for example, in 2003, Gray’s shop doctored photos of Becky Nace and Jim Glover, making them look like products of in-breeding). The juvenility of the effort embarrassed even one of Gray’s own clients.

Proud moment: Brooks became the city’s first black department head (human relations) in 1968.

Empty-gesture alert: Brooks established a violent-crime commission in 2005, as the city reeled from a 40 percent increase in the number of homicides. The commission emerged six months later with a report destined to collect dust on a shelf. Among its recommendations: better education and the creation of a half-time staff person to evaluate crime-prevention efforts.

Should be embarrassed about: From 2000 to 2005, Brooks made an average salary of $53,333 from Move Up, a crime-fighting organization that receives city funding. Brooks voted twice to approve contracts between the city and Move Up (total worth: $275,000). Internal auditor Roy Greenway looked at the matter and found no conflict of interest; Brooks’ Move Up contract contained ass-covering language that said city funds would not be used to pay his salary.

Trivia I: He was named one of George H.W. Bush’s 1,000 points of light.

Trivia II: He and wife Carol married in 1950.

Trivia III: His diet consists mainly of fruits and vegetables.

Somewhat revealing personal detail: For a few months in the winter and spring of 2006, he dyed his hair in what looked like an effort to project a more youthful appearance.

Rolls in: A 2000 Cadillac DeVille

Looks like: Miles Davis

John David DiCapo

One-line bio: DiCapo owns and operates DiCapo Foods, a manufacturing company that produces Italian wedding cookies and Jim’s Famous Hot Tamales.

Campaign guru: None. John David DiCapo plans to give John David DiCapo’s opinion, take it or leave it.

Campaign theme: DiCapo entered the race, he says, “Because I was so pissed off at City Hall for what they did to me.” DiCapo leased space for his Chili Shack restaurant in the city-owned parking garage at 12th Street and Oak, believing that city officials would force competing street vendors to vacate the sidewalks near his business. When that didn’t happen, DiCapo began complaining — loudly. After almost two years, the city bought out his lease in December. He says he’s in the race because the small-business owner in Kansas City gets dumped on.

Sworn enemy: Pushcart vendors outside City Hall. “You see a bunch of guys out there, dirty-looking guys cooking sausages on a dirty-looking grill. Someone said it makes the city look cosmopolitan. I said, ‘You’re full of shit.'”


Rich and powerful donor: None. He doesn’t plan to spend any money on signs or commercials, and his Web site is basically free.

Questionable strategy: DiCapo has been conspicuously absent from mayoral forums, saying he’s too busy running his business. “People say, ‘How are you going to get your point across?’ I was on the radio the other day and gave people my cell-phone number and said, ‘Call me. It’s 816-590-9950.'” He says he knows he probably won’t win. “But I’m going to make the person who does win aware that the small-business person needs to be taken seriously. You can’t discount the fact that 90 percent of the businesses in this town are small businesses.”

Political indignity No. 1: One recent Sunday morning, DiCapo went to his factory to check on his freezers. On the chain-link fence, just in front of the door, someone had hung a big “Chuck Eddy for Mayor” sign.

Political indignity No. 2: DiCapo’s father is longtime Italian Gardens owner Carl DiCapo, who endorses Chuck Eddy on Eddy’s television ads.

Could work for him, could work against him: Of his personal life, DiCapo says, “I dated a lot. I didn’t miss many.”

Morning ritual: “I work out with weights. I’m in pretty good shape.”

Bonus: “I’m the only good-looking, single Italian-American in the race.”

Looks like: Andy Garcia

Chuck Eddy

One-line bio: A chiropractor by training, Eddy is a 6th District councilman who chairs the finance committee and has unflaggingly backed Barnes.

Campaign gurus: Political consultant Randy Steinman (Kansans for Lifesaving Cures paid him $25,000 for campaign consulting on the Missouri stem cell ballot issue in 2006) and campaign coordinator Bill Worley.

Rich and powerful donors: Olathe Subaru-Isuzu ($1,000), Daniel McCarthy of engineering and construction firm Black & Veatch ($1,000) —notably, a hefty percentage of Eddy’s contributions come from people with Kansas addresses.

Relationship with Kay Barnes: Renfield to the mayor’s Dracula

Proud moments: Eddy likes to take credit for the remodeling and reopening of the President Hotel and the Bartle Hall expansion. “Dr. Eddy,” as he likes to be called, also spearheaded Kansas City’s proposed smoking ban, over the protests of bar and restaurant owners.

Political indignity: The eye-catching “Anyone but Eddy” banner on the lawn of Ward Parkway homeowner and Davey’s Uptown manager Mike Curry. “I realized he was trying to increase his political base for his mayoral run with a big push for the smoking ban … without any thought of whose jobs or incomes or livelihoods might be affected by it,” says Curry, whose nickname is Mokie (because, he says, “I smok-ie way too much”).

Should be embarrassed about: Eddy is moving forward with a plan to upgrade the bridge over Red Bridge Road near the Grandview Triangle, citing safety concerns for motorists. A group of homeowners opposes the plan and accuses him of siding with the trucking industry instead of the citizens of his district.

Entourage: Various Shriners, Masons, Optimists, Rotarians and a Popeyes-franchise-owning family

Memorable campaign moment: Eddy’s mayoral announcement last April at the President Hotel was attended by campaign coordinator Worley in costume as Harry Truman.

Somewhat revealing personal detail: Eddy plays the drums and sings with the Chuck Eddy Band, which has played gigs at the Drum Room in the President Hotel. “It’s not what you would call a rock band, but they play upbeat music, and some slow-dance tunes,” Worley says. Eddy also plays with the Tailgate Band in the parking lot at Arrowhead Stadium before Chiefs games.


Fashion statement: A red vest at Christmas.

Rolls in: A 2003 GMC Envoy SUV, a 1990 Cadillac Seville, a 1977 Honda MC 750 CC motorcycle

Looks like: Mr. Potato Head

Janice Ellis

One-line bio: Raised on a farm in Mississippi, Ellis eventually earned a Ph.D.; most recently, she ran a nonprofit child-advocacy group called the Partnership for Children.

Campaign guru: Luther Washington, chief strategist for Emanuel Cleaver’s mayoral and congressional campaigns

Power spouse: E. Frank Ellis, chairman and CEO of Swope Community Enterprises (Swope Health Services, Swope Community Builders and the Applied Urban Research Institute)

Rich and powerful donors: Herself — she has lent her campaign $74,413; Barnett Helzberg Jr. ($4,275); Julia Irene Kauffman ($1,000); Crosby Kemper ($1,000); Kansas City Power & Light CEO Michael Chesser and his wife, Susan ($6,000).

Previous career: From 2000 until 2006, Ellis was president and CEO of Partnership for Children.

Big idea: Her “Covenant with Kansas City” specifically targets the Kansas City School District. Ellis says she wants to be “the education mayor,” wishes to meet directly with school superintendents and will fund after-school programs, particularly for middle-schoolers. Other tenets of her covenant address the city’s housing development, crime rate, funding for arts and culture, and downtown development.

Strengths: Ellis has a doctorate in communication from the University of Wisconsin. (She notes that she is the only one of her six siblings to finish college.) She’s also a captivating storyteller, especially with her tales of growing up picking cotton on her father’s farm in Mississippi. “My dad grew everything that we ate, pretty much,” she says. “I didn’t realize how healthy we ate until I left, even though we were poor. We couldn’t afford candy or junk food, so we have great teeth.”

Weaknesses: Ellis comes off as schoolmarmy; her previous experience with students and her emphasis on education make people wonder why she doesn’t just run for the school board.

Political indignity: When Jim Rowland left the City Council to head the Jackson County Sports Authority last January, Ellis was one of several people who applied to replace him; she ended up as a finalist, along with George Blackwood. After the council repeatedly deadlocked 6-6 — with all the other council members who are currently running for mayor (except for Brooks) voting against her — Ellis finally bowed out in late February.

Should be embarrassed about: The report issued by the Kansas City Crime Commission, of which she was a member (see “Empty-gesture alert,” under Al Brooks).

Memorable campaign moment: At a campaign stop at the Rockhill Club, Ellis noted that none of her six siblings had ever gone to jail.

Fashion statement: Floor-length red coat

Rolls in: A 2000 Jaguar XJ8, a 2005 V6 Cadillac SRX SUV

Rebellious toy: 1992 Honda MC 1500 motorcycle. “We haven’t ridden it far,” Ellis says, “but I’m brave enough to get on the back with him [husband Frank]. I’m not brave enough to drive it.”

Looks like: Marla Gibbs of The Jeffersons

John Fairfield

One-line bio: Fairfield is a Northland lawyer and business promoter who rarely meets an economic development incentive he doesn’t like.

Campaign guru: Enrique Chaurand, former public affairs specialist for President Bill Clinton and policy analyst for Missouri Gov. Bob Holden

Base of support: Northland residents, tax-incentive-seeking developers, bike and pedestrian advocates, downtown-ballpark dreamers


Rich and powerful donor: Charles Garney, CEO of Briarcliff Development Co. ($1,325)

Relationship with Kay Barnes: “I think we have a mutual respect. I agree generally with what she’s done.”

Proudest moments: Leading city negotiations to save 900 jobs at the American Airlines Overhaul Base; championing a Web-based system that allows the public to follow the progress of capital-improvement projects; spearheading the effort to include a bike crossing on the expanded Paseo Bridge.

Should be embarrassed about: Fairfield held a fund-raising reception at the home of Kansas City advertising executive Michael Alexander two days before police discovered child-related pornography in Alexander’s home. He also faced questions of pandering to campaign donors earlier this year when he voted in favor of a traffic plea system favored by local lawyers. That same day, he e-mailed his campaign staff to ask what he could expect from the lawyer who had led the effort for the change.

Somewhat revealing personal details: He’s a member of the Dancing Dads, a group of fathers who perform before their daughters’ dance recitals, and admits to having taken his daughter to Walt Disney World eight times.

Hobbies: Cheering for the Chiefs, playing chess, shopping at Zona Rosa

Before he was famous: He managed a McDonald’s restaurant on North Antioch Road for three years.

Looks like: An aging Mr. Kotter

Mark Funkhouser

One-line bio: Funkhouser is a retired Kansas City auditor with man-of-the-people cred who promises to improve citizen satisfaction with city government.

Son of a: His father was a chemical-factory worker, and his mother was a nurse.

Key endorsement: Father Norman Rotert, a longtime Kansas City priest

Rich and powerful donors: Retired Kansas City Southern Railroad president Landon Rowland ($1,275) and his wife, Sarah($1,275); Commerce Bank CEO Jonathan Kemper ($500)

Relationship with Kay Barnes: Ice, ice, baby

Sworn enemies: TIF-addicted development lawyers, metal street plates, Albert Riederer

Proud moment: “Driving down 55th Street with my kids, seeing all the streetlights lined up and working just like they were supposed to.” Funkhouser’s audits in the ’90s led to improvements in the system.

Should be embarrassed about: Appearing too often in Hearne Christopher Jr.’s Star columns, especially those pondering Funkhouser’s “hipness” quotient.

Funkhouser got headlines for posting to his Web site this video:

Potentially unpopular position: Funkhouser got the city to stop paying out of its general fund for indigent care at Truman Medical Center and four health clinics. He says the state and federal government should cover those costs. He would use the savings to pay for municipal services.

Misconception: His suggestion that the fire department save money by increasing firefighters’ work hours (as allowed by federal law, because firefighters sleep during their shifts) stirred concerns that he’s anti-union. But he helped organize the faculty when he taught at Salem College in North Carolina. He’s not anti-union, he says. “I’m anti-stupid.”

Fashion statement: The color orange. According to his Web site: “I’ve chosen orange as my official campaign color because it is fast becoming a symbol for change in politics — a shift away from back-room deal making and toward an open style of governance that respects and listens to citizens.”

Shocker: At his November press conference announcing his candidacy, Funkhouser choked up when talking about his father, who never graduated from high school. “I’m a blubberer,” Funkhouser admitted. “I still believe in my dad.”


Somewhat revealing personal detail: Funkhouser feels a kinship with tall, bearded men — his City Hall office was decorated with an Abe Lincoln portrait and a Bill Russell replica jersey.

In college he was: A Tomcat, playing basketball for Thiel College in Greenville, Pennsylvania

Rolls in: Funkhouser squeezes his 6-foot-8-inch frame into a 1997 Toyota Corolla, a 1994 Ford Ranger and a 1999 Honda Odyssey.

Backup plan: If this mayor thing doesn’t work out, he’ll have more time to write his book (a worldwide study of international government auditing) and teach classes at Park University, the University of Kansas and UMKC.

Hobbies: Playing chess, reading, porch sitting and beer drinking

MySpace song: “The Times, They Are A-Changin'” by Bob Dylan

Looks like: Spock

Stan Glazer

One-line bio: The founder of the Stanford and Sons comedy clubs came in a strong second against Kay Barnes in the 2003 mayoral race.

Campaign gurus: Neighborhood Action Group stalwart Mark Esping; Tom Niffen, former president of the Northland Democratic Club and an unsuccessful 2006 candidate for state representative from the 34th District

Rich and powerful donors: Mark One Electric’s well-known Privitera family ($4,200). Carl Privitera Jr., is Glazer’s campaign treasurer.

Big fan: Shriner Skip Sleyster, who includes a weekly endorsement of Glazer in his Sunday Kansas City Star ad, “One Moment of Your Time, Please”

Previous careers: Glazer has been a male model as well as an entrepreneur who founded an auto auction at 48th Street and Troost and the 150,000-square-foot Sav-On department store. Later, he started a chain of self-named restaurants and comedy clubs. He likes to say that Sav-On introduced the shopping cart.

Big idea: He wants to build a giant, $50 million “observation wheel” on the banks of the Missouri River to rival the St. Louis arch.

Political indignity: Early in the race, Glazer turned to then-City Auditor Mark Funkhouser for advice on the city’s needs. Now, Funkhouser is a candidate. “I was a little disappointed,” Glazer admits. “I felt if I won, I could really lean on his intelligence. I don’t have a Phi Beta Kappa key, but I have men and women on my staff who do. Mark and I like each other. I told him, ‘If I get to mayor, I’d sure as hell like to make you my city manager.’ He said, ‘Sure, if it pays enough.'”

Nice try: Glazer’s Web site, www.stanglazer.com, lists the phone number for his campaign headquarters as 753-MAYOR. It probably doesn’t hurt to dial an extra digit, but for the record, the number is really 753-MAYO.

Should be embarrassed about: As of 40 days before the primary, Glazer’s campaign had just $861 cash on hand.

Hair: “It’s not a toupee,” Glazer says. Rather, it’s a small hairpiece on his forehead, covering the scar from an injury during his military training. To prove it, he bends down to show off the top of his head, where the hair is clearly real.

Strengths: Glazer would be an energetic, enthusiastic salesman for the city.

Weaknesses: His cat, Princess; the ladies

Rolls in: A Chrysler 300C SRT8

Looks like: Cesar Romero

Jim Glover

One-line bio: A three-term city councilman, Glover is an urban pioneer who brought hardware and bulk toilet paper to midtown.

Campaign guru: His kitchen cabinet includes Democratic strategist Michele Lahr (John Kerry), consultant and former TIF Commission chairman Bob Mayer, and retired Star reporter and editor Jim Fitzpatrick.

Base of support: Costco members


Rich and powerful donors: Developers Brad Nicholson ($2,500, counting his spouse’s contribution) and Terry Peteete ($3,000)

What he has that others lack: Glover has been endorsed by the influential Citizens Association.

First real job: Glover was an economist and transportation planner with the Mid-America Regional Council. He left MARC in 1974, after the City Council decided not to pursue light rail. “It drove me to law school and politics,” he says.

Ich bin ein Northlander: Glover likes to say that he lived north of the river when he was an assistant Clay County prosecutor.

Ich bin ein East Sider: Glover likes to say that he lives only a block from Troost.

Dork factor: In his first stint on the City Council, Glover and some colleagues worked late in order to find an extra $10 million for neighborhoods. He later called the session “a magical night.”

Proud moment: The Glover plan used tax-increment financing (TIF) to build the Costco and Home Depot at Linwood and Main and the Westport Sunfresh. The plan has also provided money for housing.

Should be embarrassed about: The Linwood and Main portion of the Glover plan sat empty for years. His original vision called for a Kmart and a Payless Cashways (yawn). Groups such as the Urban Society complain about the Costco-Home Depot development’s remorselessly suburban character. The idea is 15 years old, prompting questions about what he’s done for the city lately.

Delusion: At a candidate forum in December, Glover said the city ought to be able to redevelop Bannister Mall into “a masterpiece.”

Sign of cautiousness: Glover married for the first time at age 50. (The Rev. Emanuel Cleaver presided at the 2002 ceremony.)

Marked characteristics: He’s perpetually hoarse and boring.

Looks like: The Simpsons‘ Milhouse

Henry Klein

One-line bio: Klein, a former sales executive for printing supply company R.R. Donnelley, emphasizes his résumé and experience in business and volunteer work as evidence that he doesn’t need political experience to be mayor.

Base of support: He says he’ll get votes from people who don’t want their mayor “coming from City Hall.”

Campaign guru: Sean Spence, a campaign manager from Columbus, Ohio, who ran Susan Montee’s successful campaign for Missouri state auditor last year

Rich and powerful donor: Himself. Klein says he’s contributing $150,000 of his own money to his campaign.

Somewhat revealing personal detail: He is engaged to his girlfriend of nine years, legal assistant Betsy Spears.

Why he’s running: Spears says Klein has been thinking about running for mayor and honing his campaign issues for years. And when he filed, back in March 2006, no one figured the field would be this crowded.

Center of gravity: Brookside. Klein owns a home seven blocks south of Loose Park and hangs at the Plaza Library.

Questionable campaign strategy: He has made education one of his top campaign issues, but the mayor has no jurisdiction over schools.

Should be embarrassed about: His campaign announcement ran in the Briefs column of the Star, under five crime items with headlines such as “Suspected meth lab” and “83-year-old assaulted.”

Shocker: Klein was an unknown with no political experience but has been impressive in public forums and appears to be a contender.

Smart move: In October, Klein released a TV ad depicting a crowd of “candidates” fighting for the final seat in a game of musical chairs. He was the first to hit TV, a ploy that may have helped his early surge.


Dork factor: Early on, Klein proposed a major initiative to (drum roll, please) build a WiFi system that would broadcast the Internet across the city.

Hobby: He swims at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, trades stocks on the Internet and has four cats that, he says, “I could tell you all kinds of interesting stories about.”

Delusion: When asked what celebrity he thought Klein resembled, Spence said, “In the right light, Henry looks exactly like Brad Pitt. I’m serious.”

Actually looks like: Greg Kinnear

Becky Nace

One-line bio: Despite her two terms on the City Council, Nace is positioning herself as the anti-City Hall City Hall candidate.

Campaign guru: Jeff “the Goon” Roe, a former chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Sam Graves, whose campaigns are notorious for slime and intimidation

Base of support: Labor and conservative Republicans. Nace has said Republicans represent only 8 percent of her support, but the size of their donations and their reputations for partisanship have led observers to wonder whether Nace has sold her soul.

Rich and powerful donors: Various local firefighters unions ($16,650), state Sen. Matt Bartle ($2,975), lobbyist Jewell Patek ($1,275)

Entourage: Shadow and Sugar, her miniature long-haired dachshunds

Sworn enemy: As outgoing mayor, Emanuel Cleaver fought against Nace’s re-election in 2003. Cleaver said Nace had ignored requests to fix the sidewalks around his church; Nace told Cleaver to get in line behind everyone else waiting for infrastructure repairs. A chill remains. To help her run her mayoral campaign, Nace picked Roe, a GOP operative who worked for Jeanne Patterson, Cleaver’s opponent in his 2004 race for Congress.

Relationship with Kay Barnes: Strained. Nace was an outspoken member of a generally obedient City Council.

Proud moment: Nace cast the only no votes on two appalling TIF projects in the Northland: the Briarcliff hotel and a shopping center at North Oak Trafficway and Vivion Road.

Should be embarrassed about: Nace claimed that she was misquoted in a September 2006 Star story about MAST ambulance workers, who were deciding whether to remain with the city’s firefighters union. According to the Star, Nace said the MAST workers would still have a contract if they left the union. But in a suck-up letter to union honcho Louie Wright — whose support she coveted — the councilwoman claimed that she had offered no opinion about the contract.

Nixonian flourish: Nace has talked about doing away with the city’s earnings tax, which represents 45 percent of the city’s general fund. But what would she replace it with? Nace can’t say. “We need to keep discussing this, and I intend to do that,” she said at a candidate forum.

Somewhat revealing personal detail: She filed for divorce from Husband No. 3 after less than a year of marriage. Husband No. 4 works in the city’s animal-health division.

Looks like: Terri Garr

Albert Riederer

One-line bio: Riederer is a former Jackson County prosecutor turned tax lawyer who has made a career out of choice political appointments — including a judgeship on Missouri’s Western District Court of Appeals and a $300,000-a-year gig as special deputy liquidator for the sale of Missouri’s largest life insurer.

Campaign guru: Richard Martin, who ran Claire McCaskill’s Senate campaign last year and Bob Holden’s successful bid for governor in 2000

Power spouse: Sandra Midkiff, a circuit judge for Jackson County

Comrade-in-arms: Jackson County legislator Scott Burnett

Rich and powerful donor: Thomas McDonnell, CEO of DST Systems Inc. ($3,000)


More rich and powerful donors: Martin promises that Riederer will be the best-funded guy in the race.

Why he entered the race late in the game: Riederer considered running for mayor late last year. But, he says, “I kept thinking, Someone I want to support will get in the race.” When nobody with his ability to “pull people together” stepped up, Riederer says, he put in a call to Martin and joined the crowded field in January. “And it’s like the floodgates opened,” he told a crowd at the opening of his midtown campaign headquarters. “People opened up their checkbooks.”

Proudest moments: He chaired the board of Missouri Employers Mutual Insurance from 1994 to 2006; during that time, he says, he “took that company from zero in 1993 to, today, the largest workers’ comp company in Missouri.” He also co-chaired last spring’s Save our Stadiums campaign.

Should be embarrassed about: At a mid-January forum, Riederer took a cheap shot at Funkhouser, arguing that, as a City Hall insider, Funkhouser was partly responsible for the city’s generous tax-break giveaways to developers.

Wishes we’d forget: In 1995, the Star dubbed Riederer “Best Pork Chop” for his $24,000 gig as Katheryn Shields’ communications liaison to her own Jackson County Legislature.

Before he was famous: Riederer helped establish a social-justice-oriented law firm in 1973 and sued UMKC on behalf of a gay student group that was denied recognition by an official campus organization.

Needs: Substance. Riederer’s campaign pitch amounts to bragging about his abilities as a leader and his promise to craft a 10-year “vision” for the city.

Refuge: His $585,000 house at 54th Street and Wyandotte

Hobbies: Gardening, painting with watercolors, competing in the short course of the Jackson County Triathlon, reading (particularly loved Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees)

Looks like: Andy Sipowicz

Katheryn Shields

One-line bio: Shields is a former Kansas City councilwoman and three-term Jackson County executive, and she is under indictment for mortgage fraud.

Daughter of a: Boiler operator and a housewife

Campaign gurus: Hubby Philip Cardarella and her brother, Donald Shields

Base of support: It appears to be dwindling.

Rich, powerful — and loyal! — donor: Campaign reports filed 40 days before the primary show that Shields’ only contributor has been the engineering and construction firm Black & Veatch ($1,000).

Campaign contributions paid for: “Makeup services” from Sharon Sullivan of Fairway ($250, October 11, 2006), makeup from Sullivan ($500, July 21, 2006), makeup from Sullivan ($250, September 28, 2006), makeup from Donna Walters of Mission ($250, June 15, 2006)

Ich bin ein Northlander: Shields went to Park Hill High School and graduated from North Kansas City High School in 1964. Her campaign literature claims she was called “the Northland’s ‘Third Councilman'” during her first term on the Kansas City City Council.

Relationship with Kay Barnes: Both favor rain gardens.

Sworn enemy: The U.S. Attorney’s Office, new Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders, Missouri Sen. Victor Callahan

Reasons to vote for Shields if you believe that she has been a victim of “political terrorism”: She locked up the Chiefs and the Royals with 25-year lease agreements, created a diversity task force to catalog local hate crimes after the September 11 terror attack, and joined the ACLU and fellow Democrats in a lawsuit that struck down Missouri’s voter ID law.

Should be embarrassed about: Shields announced her candidacy for mayor the day after being indicted for mortgage fraud; she also appears in a $100,000 mural painted on the ceiling of the Jackson County Courthouse, commissioned during her tenure as county executive.


Hunkers down in: A $249,200 home in Armour Hills Gardens, in the 400 block of East 65th Terrace

Somewhat revealing personal detail: “I think people see me as someone who is very tough — and I am a tough negotiator — but like everyone else, I’m a human person, and I have feelings about things.”

Hobbies: Reading (last book: The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom) and watching movies (recently, the Judi Dench sex thriller Notes on a Scandal)

Fashion statement: Slicked-back hair like Pat Riley’s

When she’s not being chauffeured by staffers, Shields rolls in: A 2001 Lincoln Continental and a 1999 Pontiac Sunfire GT

Looks like: The Little Mermaid‘s Ursula, the sea witch


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