KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In what some called an expected announcement, Councilwoman Jolie Justus said Thursday that she will re-enter the race for Kansas City mayor.
With Justus in the race, the list of candidates for mayor has grown to nine.
The councilwoman initially dropped out of the race in June when former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander entered. But after Kander's announcement last week that he would leave the race to deal with mental health issues, Justus decided to jump back in the running.
"Jason stepped out and made the courageous decision to get help. I said I still want to be mayor for the same reasons; we have a lot of great things going on but we still have a lot of work to get done," Justus told 41 Action News on Thursday.
Justus said her priorities as mayor would be public safety, the Kansas City International Airport and following through on GO Bond promises.
"I need to make sure we have strong leadership to accomplish all of the things people put in our trust," she said.
The primary election is not until April, still 173 days away. On Thursday, many people on the streets in Kansas City couldn't even name who was running for mayor.
For many voters, their thoughts are on the election in November.
"Midterms coming up," Braylen Pittman said.
"People are focused on the midterms extremely and probably for a good reason," said another woman while walking downtown.
Even Justus agrees: the focus is not on City Hall at this time.
"We haven’t even opened filing for the mayor's race. It's not until December," Justus said.
Although midterm elections are on many people's minds, voters still said that they want the next Kansas City mayor to focus on crime, housing and transportation.