KANSAS CITY, Mo.— Rep. John Rizzo (D-Kansas City) has announced his candidacy for the Missouri’s 11th Senatorial District. Rizzo has been in the House since 2010, and serves in House leadership as the Minority Whip.
Last night, he released the following statement:
“Since being elected in 2010, I have had the pleasure of serving the residents of Northeast Kansas City, Independence, and Sugar Creek as State Representative. Over the past five years, I have fought to bring quality jobs to our region, increase funding for our educational institutions, and protect workers against attacks by well-financed out of state special interests. I am thankful for the continued support from the residents of Missouri’s 19th House District, and am energized to continue supporting our middle class values in the 2016 session.
The challenges facing Missouri and Jackson County require committed leadership, and after much consideration I have decided that the best way for me to continue to represent our interests in Jefferson City is to run for the 11th District Senate Seat. I look forward to talking with the people of the Jackson County about how we can make our community a better place to live, work, and raise a family.”
Rizzo had to move a small distance inside his current House district to be able to run in the 11th. He starts the race with over $70,000 on hand and an existing campaign organization, as well as a head start in several endorsements as many groups have previously contributed to his campaigns for the House. However, the most coveted endorsement in the district will likely be that of former Senator Victor Callahan, who is still immensely popular in Jackson County and still has several hundred thousand dollars on hand.
He would replace former Senator Paul LeVota who resigned earlier this year. It appears unlikely that there will be a special election in the district.
Rizzo may still face a primary as Jessica Podhola, the head of governmental affairs for the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades in Kansas City, has also expressed interest in the seat, but hasn’t announced she is running or formed a committee to begin to raise funds.
Scott Faughn is the publisher of The Missouri Times, owner of the Clayton Times in Clayton; SEMO Times in Poplar Bluff; and host of the only statewide political television show, This Week in Missouri Politics.