5th District U.S. House Race
By Don Bradley
The matchup here has become practically an every-other-November tradition.
Democratic incumbent Emanuel Cleaver and Republican challenger Jacob Turk first squared off in 2006 when Cleaver doubled up a runaway win, 64 to 32 percent.
Since then, the two faced each other in 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018. The closest? In 2014, Turk got within seven percentage points, 52-45.
After Turk sat out 2020, here they are again. Cleaver, seeking a ninth term, easily won his August primary with 85 percent of the vote while Turk garnered 52 percent in a three-way Republican primary.
Why the Cleaver dominance? It’s a Democratic district. He’s got the name, money and resume. Hard to crack.
Libertarian Robin Dominick is also on the ballot.
In 1991, Cleaver, born in Texas and a graduate of Prairie View A&M, became the first African-American mayor of Kansas City. He won a second term four years later.
During much of his political career, Cleaver also served as pastor at St. James United Methodist Church on the Paseo in Kansas City.
From 2011 to 2013, Cleaver chaired the Congressional Black Caucus.
He supported the American Rescue Plan, the Women’s Health Protection Act and twice voted to impeach former President Donald Trump.
Turk is a U.S Marine veteran and after being honorably discharged he attended college on the G.I. Bill, graduating from the University of Missouri-Kansas City with a degree in mechanical engineering.
He staunchly supports the Second Amendment, opposes abortion rights and attempts to tie Cleaver to President Biden.