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Missouri - 5th District

Incumbent -- Emanuel Cleaver II (D) ; Running for re-election

Safe Democratic
Race Ratings Key
 

CQ Politics rates this race as "Safe," meaning the incumbent party is virtually certain to win the seat.

 

District Information

District Profile from Politics in America

Kansas City has long been known for its blues style of jazz and its barbecue grilling. The Democratic 5th takes in some of the city's minority, lower-income communities and some suburban middle-class areas in Jackson and Cass counties. Today, Kansas City is the nation's second-largest rail hub, and a resurgence in high-end loft communities has lured educated, younger, well-to-do residents to the city.

Most of the 5th's residents live in northern Jackson County cities, with two-thirds of the district's population either in Kansas City (shared with the 6th) or Independence (a small part of which is also in the 6th). A diverse economic base helped the district grow into a transportation and telecommunications hub, and the area is still home to a number of call centers and other electronic-based businesses. The 5th's workforce is mostly white-collar, and tax preparation and personal finance company H&R Block and Hallmark Cards both have headquarters in the district. Some residents still commute out of the 5th to companies in Kansas, but widespread layoffs at white-collar employers have strained the economy and municipal budgets.

Despite several years of uncertainty, the Kansas City area's steel and auto assembly plants still employ thousands of residents. The federal government is a key employer in Kansas City, although the city's Marine Corps Support Activity closed as part of the 2005 round of military base realignments. The southern communities depend on agriculture, and despite economic diversification, the 5th is still a viable market for winter wheat.

With nearly all of Kansas City's black neighborhoods -- the 5th is one-fourth black -- the district is reliably Democratic and socially moderate. Democrats have held the Kansas City seat since 1949, and Barack Obama took 63 percent of the district's vote in the 2008 presidential election.

Major Industry

Transportation, auto manufacturing, agriculture, telecommunications

Cities

Kansas City (pt.), 302,696; Independence (pt.), 113,245; Lee's Summit (pt.), 82,435; Raytown, 29,526; Grandview, 24,475; Belton, 23,116

Notable

The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum are in Kansas City.

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