Clay Chastain is an electrical engineer and home renovator who currently lives in Bedford, Virginia. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Arkansas. He is perhaps best known as an individual who led a controversial 2006 petition initiative in Kansas City, Missouri, to build light rail. He spearheaded previous failed petition initiatives in the city. His book Tilting at Windmills: How one man battled political power to save America’s grandest train station was published in 1998 (ISBN 1-890622-38-9). Local writer Larry Rochelle used Chastain as the basis for his Sandy Banteen character in the mystery novel Death and Devotion.
In 2015 Chastain came in third in the Kansas City mayoral primary. After he was eliminated from the contest he tried to sue to get Mayor Sly James removed from the ballot claiming he was ineligible due to failure to pay property taxes on time. Later second place candidate Vincent Lee tried to get added to the lawsuit. The circuit court and appeals court ruled that Chastain had no legal standing and that Lee joined the lawsuit too late and thus dismissed his case. Chastain says he may quit political activism altogether.