Kansas City, Missouri , United States
|| May 04, 1981
Oct 28, 2018 12:42am
Married - U.S. Army - Judaism -
|Info||Jason Kander, a Democrat, is a candidate for Missouri Secretary of State. He currently serves as a Representative from Kansas City and formerly served in the National Guard. As a military intelligence officer in the Army Reserve, Kander volunteered in 2006 for deployment and served in Afghanistan. In 2010, he was one of ten soldiers selected as national finalists for Army Reserve Outstanding Junior Officer of the Year. Rep. Kander currently serves on the Missouri Veterans Commission. Kander is a lawyer and lives with his wife Diana in Kansas City. |
As a fifth generation Kansas Citian, Jason Kander learned early in life about his family’s ethic of community service. His mother was a juvenile probation officer and his father was a police officer who later ran a security company.
After graduating high school, Jason attended American University in Washington, DC, where he graduated with honors. He married his high school sweetheart, Diana, and together they graduated from Georgetown Law School, returning home to Kansas City the very next day.
Jason enlisted in the Army Reserve after 9/11 and served in an infantry unit before receiving his commission as a Military Intelligence Officer. In 2006, he volunteered to deploy to Afghanistan, where he served as a Political-Military Intelligence Officer for U.S. Forces. In that role, he conducted classified intelligence investigations regarding groups and individuals suspected of espionage, narcotics trafficking, corruption, and facilitating Al Qaeda and the Taliban.
In an unclassified evaluation, Jason’s commanders praised his willingness to volunteer for dangerous duty, describing him as an “outstanding leader” whose work saved lives. The U.S. Director of Intelligence in Afghanistan advised the Army to “track this officer’s career closely; he is one of the best.”
Jason earned national recognition for his service when he was selected as one of ten finalists for the 2010 Army Reserve Junior Officer of the Year Award by the Reserve Officer Association. He stepped down from the National Guard in 2011 after fulfilling his service obligation.
Jason entered the legal profession on a pro bono basis prosecuting civil protection orders in domestic violence cases. Jason works as a trial attorney at the Barnes Law Firm, a four-lawyer practice in Kansas City. His work focuses on civil justice claims – including many civil fraud prosecutions – and the protection of workers’ rights, representing individuals and organizations before courts in Missouri, Kansas, and Illinois. In 2011 he was a recipient of Missouri Lawyers Weekly’s “Up and Coming Lawyer” Award.
After he returned from Afghanistan, Jason made his first run for public office. In 2008 he won a tough three-way Democratic primary for State Representative with 68 percent of the vote. Jason’s 2008 campaign earned wide praise from political commentators for its originality and organization as profiled in the book, “The Next Generation: Young Elected Officials and Their Impact on American Politics.”
Today, Representative Kander is working hard to help Missourians get back to work, hold government accountable, and keep our neighborhoods safe.
Jason has supported several measures to retain and create jobs in Kansas City and throughout Missouri. In 2010, he was a leading supporter of the Missouri Manufacturing Jobs Act during a special session called by Gov. Jay Nixon. The landmark legislation was responsible for saving nearly 4,000 high-paying jobs at Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant and creating an additional 1,600 jobs at the plant. The legislation is also credited with creating 1,660 jobs at General Motors Wentzville plant.
Inspired by his time combating the influence of warlords in Afghanistan, Jason has shown a passion for ethics reform and preventing public corruption in Missouri.
He joined Rep. Tim Flook, R – Liberty, to lead a bipartisan charge for ethics and campaign finance reform that resulted in the first ethics reform bill to become law in Missouri in twenty years. During the 2012 legislative session, Kander sponsored a sweeping ethics reform bill that would ban lobbyist gifts to lawmakers, reinstate campaign contribution limits and prohibit lawmakers from serving as lobbyist for two years after serving.
As a member of the Budget Committee, Jason helped balance Missouri’s budget by finding inefficiencies, including exposing and eliminated a million dollar no bid contract in the Lieutenant Governor’s office.
He is currently working to pass the Veterans Workforce Act, which would expand efforts to hire veterans in state government and to provide unemployment benefits to military spouses who leave a job due to an involuntary transfer. He authored and passed a law to protect the parental rights of service members deployed overseas and later accepted an appointment to the Missouri Veterans Commission, where he is one of nine board members overseeing all programs serving our state’s military veterans.