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James Shackelford, USO tour veteran and native son of the Northland, running for the Missouri House


James Shackelford is running to serve the Kansas City Northland in the Missouri House. The USO tour veteran and actors’ union member is vying for House District 16, a seat currently held by term-limited Representative Noel Shull.

“Listening will be a top priority, as I intend to promote the issues that matter most to our neighbors in the Northland. I want our neighbors to know I am running to be their public servant, not a politician. I will take our community’s agenda to Jefferson City and fight for it every day.”

Shackelford was born and raised in Liberty, Missouri, where he graduated with honors in 2008. After graduating from college, he moved to New York City, and spent nearly seven years serving with the USO Organization, giving back to the military community and their families.

“My time as a USO tour vet inspired my calling to public service. I was fortunate to be able to travel across this country, giving back and serving those who serve us. Meeting thousands of men and women in uniform was enlightening and gave me an immense appreciation for the sacrifices they make every day. I am truly thankful to the military community and the USO for

instilling this passion of service in my life, and I am thrilled that it led me back to my hometown.”

Public education, healthcare, union rights, and relief to those impacted by Covid-19 top his legislative priorities.

“In Jefferson City I will uphold the ideals of investing in public education, work to make healthcare more affordable and accessible, support Missouri’s union workers and small business owners, and advocate for those impacted personally or financially from Covid-19. As an independent voice in our state legislature, I look forward to working with anyone I can to fight for the hardworking people in House District 16.”

Shackelford is enrolled at the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at UMKC, where he
is pursuing a Master of Public Administration degree. He is scheduled to graduate in December 2020.

He enjoys showing his wife, Bety, around Kansas City, and taking their two dogs (Miles and Delilah) for walks around the neighborhood. James is a loyal fan of the Kansas City Royals and the Kansas City Chiefs.

“When we look beyond Democrat or Republican, at the end of the day, we are all Missourians. I intend to emphasize servant leadership in an effort to bring a fair and balanced democracy back to Missouri, and to create a government that puts people first.”