Jason Kander, the rising Democratic star who nearly defeated incumbent Republican senator Roy Blunt in the 2016 election, will run for mayor of Kansas City, Missouri, according to the Kansas City Star. The newspaper also reports that Kander hasn’t formally made an announcement, but he could launch his campaign as early as next week.
In the 18 months since the 2016 election, Kander has maintained his national profile through speeches, appearances in early presidential states of Iowa and New Hampshire, founding the voting rights nonprofit organization Let America Vote, and as host of the Majority 54 podcast on Crooked Media.
Kander’s decision to run for mayor next year effectively takes him out of consideration for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. There are currently eight candidates who have declared for the election, five of which current members of the city council. The primary is scheduled for April of 2019.
A look at what prospective Democratic presidential candidates are up to:
- Former Vice President Joe Biden will travel to Ohio at the end of June for fundraising events in Cincinatti for Richard Cordray, the Democratic candidate in the Ohio governor’s race; and another event in Cleveland for Democratic senator Sherrod Brown.
- Biden also endorsed Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams in her campaign to become the first Democratic governor of Georgia in 15 years, and the first African American woman to ever be elected governor. Abrams has also been endorsed by other 2020 contenders Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris.
- Biden also endorsed Jena Griswold, the Democratic nominee running for Colorado Secretary of State.
- Governor Jay Inslee traveled to Iowa in his capacity as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, where he joined the Iowa Democratic ticket Fred Hubbell and Rita Hart at a campaign event. He recorded an interview with Iowa Public Television in which he praised Hubbell as “the perfect candidate.” He will also be the featured speaker at the Iowa Democratic Party Hall of Fame Celebration in Des Moines on Saturday night. He will also be meeting with Democratic activists in Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.
- Senator Jeff Merkley did not rule out a possible presidential run during an interview with The New Yorker’s Susan Glasser: “I’m exploring the possibility.”
- Senator Cory Booker was the headliner at the Blue Commonwealth Gala in Richmond, Virginia, an annual event organized by the Democratic Party of Virginia. In addition to Booker, all Virginia Democratic statewide elected officials and former governor Terry McAuliffe – another possible 2020 contender – spoke at the event.
- Senator Kamala Harris sent out a fundraising email on behalf of Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, according to Kansas City Star reporter Lindsay Wise. Harris also praised McCaskill during her keynote address before the St. Louis County NAACP, which both senators attended. McCaskill is considered one of the most endangered Democratic senators of the current election cycle.