HomeTop StoriesParson appoints KC Democrat to tax committee. A new candidate emerges...

Parson appoints KC Democrat to tax committee. A new candidate emerges to replace him

Governor of Missouri Mike Parson was appointed Democratic Senator on Friday. Greg Razer from Kansas City to the State Tax Commission. Minutes later, a new exploratory committee emerged focused on a possible candidacy to succeed Razer with his support.

If the Missouri Senate votes to confirm Razer’s nomination, he would have to vacate his Senate seat, leaving his Jackson County district without a senator. Razer, who was first elected to the Senate in 2020 after previously serving in the House of Representatives, had filed for re-election this year.

Less than 30 minutes after Parson’s announcement, Pat Contreras, a member of several Kansas City boards, announced his creation of an exploratory committee to succeed Razer pending Senate confirmation. The announcement included Razer’s approval.

“Sen. Greg Razer has had a career defined by service to the people of Missouri and I am excited to continue that in his next role,” Contreras said in a statement. “I have felt the same calling my entire life and have always responded to it – both in the public and private arena. With Missouri facing so many critical issues, I feel called to rise up and serve again.”

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The last day for submitting candidates already passed last month. But Missouri law requires that if an incumbent candidate withdraws, the filing period for that seat reopens for five days, a State Department spokesperson said.

Parson’s appointment from Razer was unexpected.

The Kansas City Democrat was one of the most visible Democratic leaders during his time in the Senate. Razer, the only openly gay member of the Senate, has railed against anti-LGBTQ legislation and last year led a lengthy filibuster against a Republican-led bill that banned gender-affirming care for minors. The bill was eventually passed.

Razer said in a statement on social media that it was “honored and humbled” by the appointment.

“If confirmed by my colleagues in the Senate, I will continue my public service to all Missourians with the same dedication as I have for the past eight years,” he said. “My commitment today continues to include my duties as a State Senator, representing the interests of the 7th District, the cities of Kansas City and Grandview, along with our state as a whole.”

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The Missouri State Tax Commission is responsible for measuring the accuracy of assessments in each county and works with assessors across the state. Razer’s appointment comes at a time when Jackson County’s property valuations have come under intense scrutiny due to massive increases.

Contreras expressed support from several Kansas City area leaders in a news release, including U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, Mayor Quinton Lucas and former Secretary of State Jason Kannder.

After running unsuccessfully for state treasurer in 2016, Contreras worked as an executive at McCownGordon Construction, a Kansas City-based construction company, according to a news release.

He also served on several boards and committees, including the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Board, the Downtown Council, the University Health board, and as chairman of the Kansas City, MO Committee of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

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