Because of the sheer number of participants, an Associated Press report has called the race for Missouri's 5th congressional district the most competitive primary.
U.S. Representative Emanuel Cleaver will face four challengers in the Democratic primary on Tuesday, including two who previously ran as Republicans. The winner from this contest will face one of the four Republicans as well as a lone Libertarian running unchallenged eyeing Missouri's 5th Congressional District seat in the general election on Nov. 4.
Here's a round up of the contenders featured in Tuesday's election:
• Mark Memoly - Memoly is running as a Democrat, although his previous appearance on a Missouri ballot was in a Senate race for a the 2012 Republican nomination, which resulted in defeat for the Lee's Summit resident. Todd Akin won the GOP nomination with 36 percent of the vote. John G. Brunner and Sarah Steelman were other top contenders, followed by five others including Memoly, who got .05 percent of the vote. Memoly, 59, is now running as a Democrat pushing for clean energy investments, building high speed rail infrastructure and, generally, to promote a culture where we're happier, he said in an interview with Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The candidate has put forth several health care reform alternatives to replace The Affordable Care Act, which he opposes. Memoly is a commercial truck salesman. He has two previous election victories: in 1978 he was elected to Sparta, N.J., city council and another in 1980 as the town's mayor.
• Bob Gough - Like Memoly, Gough's previous appearance on a Missouri ballot was on a Republican ticket. He was also defeated for the GOP nomination for the U.S. House 6th District seat, which went to Sam Graves, who won 80 percent of the vote. Gough, 76, is a critic of The Affordable Care Act, which on his website he calls a disaster and a coalition of insurance companies, insiders, and incompetent government planners.
Gough has pledged to serve no more than three terms in Congress. He founded the Jackson County Taxpayer Association in 2000.
• Eric Holmes - The biography Holmes has on his website asserts the Democratic candidate has never been a politician. He opposes business regulations, taxes and the Affordable Care Act. Holmes' professional work focuses on the technology field. Holmes grew up in Texas, served in the Army and achieved the rank of colonel. Hes a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom. While Holmes, 52, is a candidate in the 5th district race, his address is shown as being inside the 6th district.
• Charles Lindsey - Lindsey has the lowest visibility of any of Cleaver's Democratic challengers. He's running the race without a website, and coming back from a decade long hiatus; Lindsay, a paralegal, was last on the ballot in 2000 for the 5th Congressional district seat. Lindsay, 52, said he is running to build constructive trust to stop the destabilization of the state's financial entities.
• Emanuel Cleaver II - Cleaver is seeking his sixth term. In the 10 years since his first election to the U.S. House of Representatives, Cleaver has voted largely with the Democratic party offering his support on, for example, removing troops from Afghanistan, raising the minimum wage to $7.25 and extending unemployment benefits. Cleaver, 69, contrasts with his party, however, voting in support of the Keystone XL pipeline and against administrative amnesty of certain undocumented immigrants residing in the U.S., which is commonly known as the Morton Memos. Cleaver votes with the Democratic caucus and holds a seat on the House Financial Services Committee. Cleaver is a supporter of President Obama's signature health care bill.
Cleaver's supporters include engineering conglomerate Honeywell International and the National Association of Realtors. A former city councilman and mayor of Kansas City, Cleaver's most recent campaign filings show he has raised over half a million dollars in this congressional term and had $234,463 cash on hand at the end of June.
• Jacob Turk - Turk, a returning candidate to the 5th District race, has raised $36, 876 and $19,497 cash on hand at the end of June. Given that this is his fifth attempt to unseat Cleaver, Turk has been called a perennial candidate by The Kansas City Star. Turk, 58, calls himself an advocate of free enterprise and sensible solutions to health care in order to rescind the ill-conceived Obamacare. The retired Marine has recently found himself in a political firefight after opponents learned the redrawn district boundaries created in 2011 leave Turk's residence out of the district by a half a mile.
• Mike Burris – Citing Turk's opportunities to move to be within the district, Republican candidate Burris, 45, said I feel like if Mr. Turk has a commitment to the voters, he had three years with the district to move and he should have done it.
Burris' website leads with a map of the district emphasizing this point. The website also explains Burris' other priorities, which include driving job creation, streamlining the tax code, balancing the national budget and repealing the Affordable Care Act. A professional contractor and board member with Associated Rental Stores of Kansas City, Burris supports a reduced federal government and immigration reform that includes both securing the border.
• Bill Lindsey – Lindsay, 51, holds positions that are relatively similar to Burris. The schoolteacher and debate coach is committed to action on immigration that secures the borders and a prompt repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Lindsay, 51, has expressed an interest in working across the political aisles.
• Berton Knox of North Kansas City is also on the ballot. He has not filed with the Federal Election Commission as a candidate.
• Roy Welborn is the lone Libertarian running in Tuesday's primary. Welborn supports a reduced government and protected gun rights.
After redistricting, the 5th District is still left leaning despite gaining a large area of rural territories in Lafayette, Ray and Saline counties. Those three counties form the bulk of the district's mass, which extends east all the way to Marshall, Mo. The district also has a smaller but higher density extension into Kansas City's urban area and includes parts of Blue Springs, Independence and Lee's Summit. It also contains Claycomo, Gladstone and North Kansas City.
The deadline to register to vote in the general election is Oct. 8.