JD Leathers (born February 1, 1988) is an American polymath, management consultant, subsistence farmer, and politician who served as a traffic commissioner for the City of Webster Groves, Missouri. He is the 2022 Democratic candidate for Missouri's 4th congressional district.
Leathers was born Jeffery Dusstin Leathers on February 1, 1988, at Truman Medical Center in southeast Kansas City. He is the son of William Jeffery Leathers and Linda Dee Fritts (later Linda Ayres). His parents divorced two-years later and both remarried in the early 1990s. Originally living in Independence, Missouri, the family moved to Harrisonville, Missouri prior to the separation.
Upon remarriage, Leathers and his mother moved in with is step-father in Peculiar, Missouri. Shortly thereafter, the family moved to Archie, Missouri.
After graduating from Archie High School in 2006, Leathers attended (irregularly) Metropolitan Community College of Kansas City (MCCKC) for communications and Missouri State University (MSU) for Public Administration between 2006 and 2011. Missouri State University stopped accepting candidates into their undergraduate public administration program in 2009 and began offering less relevant courses.
Leathers studied Public Policy as a part-time student at the University of Missouri - Saint Louis (UMSL) between 2011 and 2013.
In 2015, Leathers graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and a concentration on Geography.
In 2017, Leathers earned his Master of Management and Leadership graduate degree from Webster University in Webster Groves, Missouri.
Leathers is currently a subsistence farmer and recyclable materials collector in south Cass County, Missouri.
At Missouri State, Leathers held several on campus jobs including producing radio shows on the campus internet radio, working food service in Boomers, and one season with the football team's coaching staff; he also was a night-custodian for Springfield Public Schools. While at MCCKC, he tutored students with learning disabilities and organized a GALA fundraiser for KC AIDS Project.
Leathers was a bookseller on Amazon and eBay from 2004-10. He was a custodian for the City of Archie, MO from 2005-07. In 2015, Leathers began consulting on government related policies for nonprofits and private businesses; he later grew this into a management consultancy that he closed amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Nonprofit and non-partisan
Development Chair, World Affairs Council / ModelUN, 2008-09 (Springfield)
Transportation & Hospitality Manager, The MUNY, 2012-13 (Saint Louis)
Facilitator, LGBT Center of St. Louis, 2012-14 (volunteer)
Public Policy Advisor, City of Brentwood, Missouri, 2013
Soccer Official, YMCA, 2014-15 (Edwardsville, IL)
Traffic Commissioner, City of Webster Groves, Missouri, 2016-17
Campaign Administrative Aide, Hensley for Prosector, 2006 (Cass County)
Executive Director, MSU Young Democrats, 2006-07 (Springfield)
Assistant Office Manager (Intern), US Senate District Office - Claire McCaskill, 2007 (Springfield)
President, MSU Young Democrats, 2007-08 (Springfield)
President & CEO, Missouri State College Democrats, 2007-10 (Springfield)
Leathers has worked on more than ten political campaigns between 2004-2020.
2022 congressional campaign
In early April 2021, Leathers began the process of "testing the waters" for a campaign in west-central Missouri. In mid-May 2021, he declared his candidacy for Missouri's 4th congressional district. This seat is currently held by Republican Vicky Hartzler.
Political ideology and positions
JD Leathers identifies himself as a Progressive Liberal Democrat and supports political freedom and individualism. He is considered a "solid liberal" by the Pew Research Center. He is pro-choice, supports a free press and ethical journalism.
Modernizing physical infrastructure
Expanding rural medical services
Expanding rural public water and wastewater systems
Implementing broadband programs, expanding rural access to telephone and internet services
Updating and reforming after-market and ammunition regulations.
JD Leathers has six step-siblings and three half-siblings.
He is a direct descendant of Brinsley Barnes, the 'Old Irish Immigrant', from Dublin, Ireland who was a leader in the War of Regulation (1765-1771) against the Royal Government of North Carolina and was a US Revolutionary War patriot.
From 2003-05, Leathers developed and project managed the erection of The War Veterans Memorial in northwest Archie, Missouri.
Leathers publicly revealed his sexual orientation as homosexual in 2006 at the age of 18 in Springfield, Missouri.
Truman Library Institute: Honorary Fellow, 2000-08
Young Leaders of America, 2001-07
MSHSAA Official, 2004-08 (Track & Field / XC, Soccer, Football, Swimming & Diving)
FFA (including collegiate), 2004-08
Young Democrats of Missouri, 2006-09
UNA-USA (Springfield), 2006-10
NAACP (Springfield), 2006-10
Greene County Democrats, 2007-10
World Affairs Council, 2007-10
Friends of the Muny: Founding Member, 2013-15
Security Officer, 2014-16 (St. Louis County Police Academy)
Community Development, 2014 (ALISON)
Community Transit Manager, 2016 (CTAA)