Tyrone Garner, left, and David Alvey, right, are both running for Kansas City, Kansas, mayor. Garner is a former KCKPD police officer, and Alvey is the current mayor. (Photos courtesy of candidates' campaigns)

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The biggest donor to Tyrone Garner’s Kansas City, Kansas, mayoral campaign is Tyrone Garner. 

The former deputy chief of the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department lent his campaign $23,500 from April to October, according to a Beacon analysis of his July and October campaign expenditure reports. Those personal loans make up the bulk of his campaign chest — donations from other sources amount to $6,038.

Including personal loans and contributions from others, Garner’s campaign received $21,945 during the July reporting period, which took place in the run-up to the Aug. 3 primary election. It gained an additional $7,593 during the second reporting period. 

Although Garner was the top vote-getter in the primary, he was vastly outraised by his opponent, incumbent Mayor David Alvey. 

Neither Garner or Alvey responded to repeated requests for comment.

Candidates in Kansas can lend money to their own campaigns, but the loans must be listed in expenditure reports. 

Alvey reported a single personal loan of $80 on the July expenditure report. In October, he reported a $1,325 debt to Record News for printing letters and mailing labels. 

Incumbent Mayor David Alvey receives majority of donations from individuals

Alvey’s campaign received $28,215 in the period detailed on its July expenditure report. Of that, $19,035 came from individuals, in amounts ranging from $25 to $500, the maximum allowed. In total, 60 individuals donated to Alvey. 

By October, Alvey had raised an additional $56,250, nearly doubling the July amount. Of that, $38,650 came from individuals and trusts and $17,600 came from limited liability companies and businesses.

Among individual donors were Michael and Amy Illig, Brian and Michelle Illig, and Clifford and Bonne Illig, couples who each donated $1,000. Clifford Illig is co-founder of Cerner Corp., the Kansas City area’s largest employer, and a part owner of the Sporting Kansas City professional soccer franchise.

Garner’s campaign received $2,945 from 46 individual donations during the July reporting period. Those contributions tended to be lower than donations received by Alvey. The largest single donation was $300, and the lowest was $10. 

Among the individual donors to Garner was Alvin Brooks, a well-known civic leader in Kansas City, Missouri, who served as a police officer, council member and assistant city manager over several decades. 

In October, Garner received $2,093 from individuals.

LLCs, businesses support David Alvey in mayoral race as Tyrone Garner gains union support

Alvey is popular with multiple sports-related businesses. Sporting Fields and Athletics, Kansas Stadium Partners Inc., Soccer Village Properties and Sporting Kansas City each donated $500 in both reporting periods.

Alvey is one of several elected officials who support the bid to bring the World Cup to Kansas City, and he has spoken previously about the area’s wealth of soccer facilities and hospitality. 

No businesses donated to Garner’s campaign in the July period. In October, he received a $500 donation from Village West Discount Liquors.

However, Garner earned the endorsement of the KCK Professional Firefighters Association, which had supported Alvey in his 2017 mayoral campaign. During his first term, Alvey supported the closing of Station 15 in the Fairfax District, a move that was protested by union members. 

Garner was also endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 40, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 53, the Tri-County Labor Council of Eastern Kansas and United Auto Workers Local 31. In his campaign platform, Garner has proposed the inclusion of a liaison to local labor organizations within the mayor’s office.


The Beacon also broke down the campaign contributions to mayoral candidates in Overland Park.

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Emily Wolf is a local government accountability reporter with a focus on telling meaningful stories through data at The Kansas City Beacon. She is a Report for America corps member.