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Pryor boasts $25,000 in war chest

by Ivan Foley
Landmark editor

The Republican primary election for first district Platte County commissioner is still more than a year away. But you wouldn't know it by looking at the incumbent's war chest.

Tom Pryor already has nearly $25,000 in the bank to fund his reelection effort. He will be seeking his second term next year.

"I am very pleased with being able to break my goal of $20,000 (for the quarter)," Pryor said when reached by phone Tuesday night.

He said the recent death of his father, who worked with him in his appraisal business, slowed him down a bit but since "getting out there and working it" he has received support in both spoken and financial terms.

"I'm getting a positive response as I talk to people. Several have indicated they would like to see me in this position again. I've had good response and that's shown by the amount of money I have been able to raise," he told The Landmark.

At the beginning of the most recent quarterly reporting period, Pryor had nearly $3,000 on hand. He raised around $21,600 this past quarter and now has a total of $24,488.56 in cash on hand.

"I had to go out there and work it. I was committed to it and went out and did it. I'm very pleased with the result," he remarked. "It shows I will be a formidable opponent.”

Asked how much he spent in his primary election in 2004, Pryor said as he recalls it was around $25,000 to $26,000. He then spent an additional $4,000 in the general election against a write-in opponent.

Asked how much he'd like to raise to have available in 2008, Pryor said: "I think that might be inside information."

He later indicated he would like to accumulate around $50,000.

His opponent in the Republican primary in August of '08 will be Kathy Dusenbery, current mayor of Parkville. Reached on her cell phone Wednesday morning, Dusenbery was critical of the sources of Pryor's funding and of the incumbent himself.

"A lot of his money is Clay County money. I represent Platte County and always will. His business is in Clay County. But when you're first district commissioner, your heart needs to be in the first district," Dusenbery said.

"He has not done one thing to help our area in the Missouri American Water rate case. It's like he doesn't even exist.”

Asked what Pryor could be doing to help with the water rate case, Dusenbery said: "Like knowing about the issue. . .that would help.”

She criticized Pryor for "the fact he has a $66,000 a year job and he's not working at it. He's taking good taxpayer dollars and he's not representing the people. And that's all I've done for Parkville. This leadership of sitting up there in Platte City and not even knowing the people in your district. . .that's wrong. He's had three years to make amends and to meet his constituents.”

Dusenbery criticized Pryor for what she said has been his unwillingness to take a leadership role regionally.

"I'm sick of carrying the ball regionally. He has sat back on so many issues and expected the mayors to carry the issues. I hate to remind him that the cities are in his district," she said.

Pryor was first elected in 2004, upending entrenched incumbent Michael Short in a tight Republican primary race that summer, with Pryor capturing 52% of the vote to 48% for Short.

Pryor went on to hold off a write-in challenge in the November election that year, handily defeating Pauli Kendrick 81% to 19%.

While Pryor has been busy raising more than $21,000 over the course of the past three months, Dusenbery's fundraising effort is yet to get rolling.

Dusenbery has filed a statement of limited activity with the Platte County Board of Elections. According to Wendy Flanigan, director at the board of elections, this means Dusenbery did not have more than $500 in contributions or expenses in the past quarter.

Dusenbery said her first major fundraiser will be an August dinner event at a Parkville restaurant.

"I don't anticipate any trouble raising money. Not at all," she said.

Asked what her fundraising goal will be, Dusenbery answered: "I'm not going to put a number on it. It's going to take a lot. I'm going to need enough for a primary and then for the general.”

Papers on file at the board of elections show Mary Hoy of Weatherby Lake as treasurer for the Committee to Elect Kathryn A. Dusenbery 1st District Commissioner. The deputy treasurer is listed as Scott McRuer of Parkville.

Nelsie Sweeney is shown on the paperwork as Dusenbery's campaign manager.

Pryor said he expects his opponent to be able to acquire some donations.

"In fairness, she's just getting started. It takes a lot of time to go out there and raise money," he said.

A Democrat, former Parkville mayor William Quitmeier, has announced he will also seek the district one commission post. Quitmeier has not yet formed a campaign committee, according to the board of elections.

Quitmeier is the only Democrat to announce for the seat thus far. In the general election in November of '08, Quitmeier would face the winner of the Pryor vs. Dusenbery race.

Appearing on the list of contributors--and the amount given--to Pryor in the most recent quarterly reporting period are:

Richard Saunders, Kansas City, self-employed, $1,000.

Stephen West, Kansas City, Old American Real Estate, $500.

Pryor Trust LLC, Gladstone, $1,000.

Michael Keleher, Kansas City, attorney, Keleher and Eastman, $150.

Prairieview Development, North Kansas City, $1,000.

William Mann, Kansas City, self-employed, $1,000.

Jay Jackson Builders, Parkville, $1,000.

Park Development, Inc., Parkville, $2,000.

Pryor Appraisal Services, Gladstone, $1,000.

Michael Pursell, Kansas City, $1,000.

Vertical Ventures III, LLC, Waldron, $500.

Richard Kopp, Waldron, Terradyne, LTD, $500.

Karen Kopp, Waldron, Terradyne LTD, $500.

Custom Homes by J.D. Nelson, Gladstone, $1,000.

Thoroughbred Ford, Kansas City, $500.

Jim Wagy's Barry Road Restaurant, Gladstone $250.

Jim Wagy's Platte City Restaurant, Platte City, $250.

Ben Carter, Parkville, Prudential Carter-Duffy, $500.

Tim D. Harris, Liberty, self-employed, $500.

Jim Donalson, Kansas City, self-employed, $500.

Fred Pouche, Kansas City, self-employed, $250.

Christopher Byrd, attorney, Hazelton and Laner, LLP, $250.

Lexeco, Leavenworth, $1,000.

Wood River Crossing, LLC, Waldron, $500.

Vertical Ventures II, LLC, Waldron, $500.

K A D Investments, Inc., Platte City, $1,000.

A & B Body Shop, Kansas City, $1,000.

Leslie A. Swinney, Kansas City, Prudential Carter-Duffy, $1,000.

Susan Phillips, Kansas City, Town & Country Building Services, $300.

Intercontinental Investments, Avondale, $500.

Mike Pursell, Kansas City, Damon Pursell, $116.76 (in-kind).




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