KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Born in the Missouri bootheel to graduating from the University of Missouri to living and working in Kansas City, Greg Razer, a deputy regional director of Northwest Missouri for Sen. Claire McCaskill, has been shaped by experiences in Missouri.
Now, he wants to help govern the state by representing the 25th District.
With Rep. Jeremy LaFaver, D-Kansas City, set to depart from office next January after deciding not to run for a third term, Razer hopes to step in to the 25th District seat.
“It’s something that’s always been in the back of my mind, but it had to be the right time for me,” Razer said. “I spoke with Jeremy when he decided he wasn’t going to run for re-election. I thought long and hard about where I was personally and professionally, and it felt like the right time.”
Razer has LaFaver’s full endorsement as well, and LaFaver has spent time knocking on doors for Razer the past two weekends.
“Greg Razer is the right candidate in the right place at the right time,” LaFaver said. “He has a keen eye for public policy and a passion for Missouri, a combination that will serve Kansas City extremely well.”
That passion for Missouri has taken him across the Show-Me State. He grew up in Southeast Missouri, the grandson of a farmer, only to move to Columbia to attend the University of Missouri as a student. After he graduated, he hopped from campaign to campaign as a Democratic staffer, including a stint working for Jean Carnahan in 2002 for her unsuccessful U.S. Senate re-election bid against Jim Talent.
He later worked as a field organizer in Western Missouri and later as a policy director in Jefferson City for PROMO, the state’s foremost LGBT advocacy group. Razer says that breadth of experience across Missouri has given him perspective on certain problems facing the state.
“I understand the big picture of the state, that if you’re looking at a transportation issue while I-70 is important, so is the lettered route in Grundy County,” he said.
When McCaskill was elected to the Senate, Razer began working for her, and he said she influenced him to run office. He recalled taking rural roads to town halls with McCaskill and that she always came off as herself, instead of something manufactured or overly polished. Razer noted that he wanted that transparency of personality that she has.
“She’s funny, she’s herself, and I think that’s taken her a long way,” he said. “I was thinking of her when I made this decision. When I decided to run, people said, ‘Well, the first thing you have to do is get rid of your Facebook page and start up a generic campaign page.’
“But I’m running for state rep… You’ll just find my Facebook page. I want the people in the community to know me, to know my quirks. You’re going to see pictures of me with my family at Mizzou football games and me with my family at Graceland in Memphis, just being normal people. That’s a lot of what I took away from Claire.”
As for what he hopes to accomplish as a state representative should he get elected, he wants to make funding for MODOT a top priority, which he sees as tenable even as a member of the superminority, and he wants to expand Medicaid, a much more difficult proposition with the Republican hold on the General Assembly.
And it’s likely he’ll get a chance to work in the House. He is currently the only Democrat filed in a heavily Democratic district as of yet, he has the endorsement of the incumbent, and he is hard at work fundraising and knocking on doors as if he had an opponent.
“I’m not taking anything for granted just because no one has filed yet,” he said. “There’s 29 more days for them to do it, so I want to work as hard as possible.”