A guide to who’s who in the 5th District races

April 2nd is right around the corner. Do you know your 5th District candidates?

5th District Candidate Profiles

The 5th District map makes a U shape, starting north at Blue Parkway, traveling south along Holmes Rd and I-435, follows 470 east, avoiding Raytown in the middle, and swings up north to Hwy 40 following Noland Rd to Lee’s Summit Rd.

5th District-at-Large

Lee Barnes, Jr.

Lee Barnes, Jr. (Incumbent),  graduated from Central High School and received a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Kansas State University. Barnes was first elected to the City Council in 2015.   He is Vice-Chair of the Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Committee and is a member of the Finance and Governance Committee and the Youth Development Committee. He has served on the Tax Increment Finance Commission and is currently the Chairman of the Planned Industrial Expansion Authority. Barnes is also the Director of Operations for the Swope Corridor Renaissance/Upper Room, Inc., a non-profit organization whose goal is to transform neighborhoods by developing educational programs, providing a child development center and rehabilitating abandoned housing.

“I plan to ensure that the level of basic services are improved over the next four years.  We have begun this process by increasing the budget in the areas of neighborhoods, solid waste and public works.  I also want to continue the work I’ve started on development projects within the 5th district. I have led the charge in getting support for the development of the 22 acres on 63rd and Prospect.  Engineering work is to begin on the project in March and we are looking forward to up to $150 million in development. I also led the charge in developing a proactive PIEA Area in the blighted areas of Rombandee and Loma Vista shopping centers.  These areas have been neglected and abandon for 20 years and developing the PIEA area will allow the city to force the owners to redevelop the property or sell it through the eminent domain process.”

Eric Dickinson

Eric Dickinson, 51,  earned his B.A. in Personnel Administration from the University of Kansas. Dickinson has spent over 25 years in youth development, including the Boy Scouts of America and the YMCA.  He is President-Elect of the KC Plaza Rotary Club.

“I’m running for City Council to be the voice of reason that connects working families struggling to achieve the American Dream, to an ever-changing global economy that leaves thousands of Kansas Citians behind. We need leaders who will listen to the people and not put dollars over our democracy.  We need leaders committed to restoring the American Dream. We need leaders who create caring pathways for youth to become involved in positive endeavors that will continue throughout their lifetime.

I will combine the skills gained in my career as an advocate for youth with executive level leadership experience grounded in hard work, integrity, and love of community to work for you and for Kansas City.  I believe these skills make me uniquely qualified to be the next At-Large City Councilman for Kansas City’s 5th District. I will make sure the people of KC get what they deserve, which is a representative who will listen to their concerns and be a voice of reason for their hopes and dreams.”

Dwayne Williams

Dwayne Williams, 57,  is President/CEO of the Twelfth Street Heritage Development Corporation, an organization that has built and rehabbed a number of homes in the Urban Core of Kansas City Missouri. Williams started the Prison-to-Workforce Pipeline, a re-entry program. He has served on a number of boards including the Neighborhood Tourism Development Fund, Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City (EDCKC) and Port Authority Fund for Minorities and Women.

“We must create stronger workforce development programs that provide good paying jobs that grow our economy.  Policies need to be put in place that foster affordable housing, support and expand basic city services and strengthen under-served neighborhoods.  The incoming council must take steps to build public trust; I will put in the hard work to gain that confidence.”

In-District Candidates

Stephan Gordon

Stephan Gordon  graduated from Sumner High School in Kansas City, KS.  He studied Psychology and Sociology at Friends University, then graduated from Wichita State University. He has served on the Keep Kansas City Beautiful committee and was a member of the Neighborhood Development & Tourism board.  He has been a minister in Kansas City for 28 years.

“I hope to make the 5th district cleaner, safer, and provide a better quality of life for the citizens.  I will achieve my goal by working with my colleagues to address the murder rate. I wrote a neighborhood watch engagement program in 2014 and gave it to the city in 2015 but nothing was done with it.  I will be proactive in my approach to these murders and present options to the citizens.”

Bryan Dial

Bryan Dial, 36, Dial has worked in the community for 20 years, serving on various boards and nonprofits, including Love Thy Neighbor, Hickman Mills Prevention Coalition, Lincoln University Kansas City Extension Campus, AdHoc Group Against Crime, and Upper Room.  He is the Youth Pastor at Paseo Baptist Church.

As one who has worked boots on the ground to help improve it, I have firsthand knowledge of the concerns of the residents in this district.  I live, worship, work, and educate my family in this community. I want to see a vibrant district, with infrastructure improvements, economic development, water bill reductions, crime reduction, etc. I am running to be a voice for the voiceless.

Ryana Parks-Shaw

Ryana Parks-Shaw, 48, graduated from Ruskin High School.  She earned her B.S. in Psychology from Missouri State University and an M.S. in Healthcare Services Administration from Southwest Baptist University.  She was born and raised in Kansas City and has lived in the 5th District for the past 18 years. She serves as a board member of the Eastern Jackson County Workforce Development and is on the Missouri Hospice and Pallative Care Board of Directors.  

“I am running for fifth district city council because my neighbors deserve to live full and healthy lives. After knocking on doors and talking to neighborhood leaders, the number one issue citizens were most vocal about is the lack of basic services. Ensuring that constituents receive city services is the most important job of any city council member.  Some areas of the fifth district are without sidewalks meaning children and adults alike must walk in the street putting them at risk of being hit by cars. Illegal dumping and vacant homes blight my district and it will be my top priority to tackle this pressing issue. We deserve to have safe sidewalks and clean neighborhoods. Not only will I focus on improving basic services, and infrastructure, but economic development is also important to ensure small businesses and working families are supported. Affordable housing, implementing trauma informed strategies and supporting economic growth via revitalization will empower people to pursue their goals without having to worry about the basics.”

Mitch Sudduth

Mitch Sudduth, 48, has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Central Missouri State University. Sudduth has volunteered with Harvesters, as well as with Battery Brigade, an organization that goes door-to-door performing battery checks and installing smoke detectors.  He is the former Vice President of the Southtown Council Board, past board member of the East Meyer Community Association and past chair of the Neighborhood Housing Services Insurance Committee. He is owner of Show Me Showdown Entertainment Group.

My agenda is one of economic development, education of youth, crime prevention and affordable housing; policies that benefit the community.  If you want economic development East of Troost and more skilled trade schools like the Mannual Tech Center, you should vote for me.”

Edward Bell

Edward Bell, 40, graduated from Bishop Hogan High School.  He received his B.S. in Public Administration and a B.A. in Political Science from Park University.  He also earned an Executive MBA from Benedictine College. Bell became a licensed and certified educator through the American Board of Certified Teacher Excellence and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education in Washington, D.C.

Bell has worked with ACLU, AFSC, NAACP, and currently a MORE2 board member.  He also serves as Superintendent of Christian Education at St. James UMC. For the past four years he has served as a PIAC Representative for the 5th District, working in collaboration with neighborhoods to strengthen infrastructure, parks and trails, and assisting in building leadership from within organizations.

I will work to leverage opportunities to partner workforce, employers, and public departments to provide hands on paid training opportunities.

I will facilitate economic development by utilizing abandoned commercial sites as locations for small manufacturing and green manufacturing.

I will build relationships between residents and developers in residential areas and development projects to address neighborhood blight.

Finally I will build neighborhood organization involvement in community projects.”

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