Kansas City prepares for general election

Nathan Zoschke

On Feb. 22, Kansas City voters, for the first time in nearly 90 years, voted out an incumbent mayor in the municipal primary election.

Mayor Funkhouser, who has drawn heavy criticism and was the subject of a failed recall petition, placed third in the mayoral primary.

Despite carrying the Clay County portion of the Northland, Funkhouser’s support in Kansas City south of the Missouri river, where nearly 75 percent of the municipal votes were cast, wasn’t as strong as he had hoped.

In Funkhouser’s place, candidates Sly James and Mike Burke will advance to the March 22 general election. Both James and Burke are Democrats, although Kansas City elections are nonpartisan.

James has led in fundraising efforts, although Burke has garnered the endorsements of former Kansas City mayors Kaye Barnes, Richard Berkeley and Charles Wheeler.

Other candidates who lost in the mayoral race include former Councilman Jim Rowland, Councilwoman Deb Hermann, businessman Henry Klein and Wheeler, whose name remained on the ballot despite having withdrawn and endorsed Burke.

Here’s a look at the At-Large Council races

1st District At-Large

Candidates Scott Wagner and Daina Kennedy will advance to the general election. Wagner has gained nearly all the major endorsements with two-third of the primary vote in Wagner’s favor.

2nd District At-Large

Candidates Allen Dillingham and incumbent Ed Ford will advance to the general election. While Ford carried Kansas City south of the river with 62 percent of the vote, Ford lost to Dillingham in the Platte and Clay portions of Kansas City, where turnout was low. However, if the Northland turnout increases substantially in the general election, it could tip the scale in Dillingham’s favor.

3rd District At-Large

Incumbent Melba Curls and opponent Brandon Ellington will advance to the general election. Curls came first in the primary, although Ellington carried the Northland. Candidate Durwin Rice, a decoupage artist who created Tulips on Troost, placed third in both Platte and Clay counties and Kansas City south of the river. Ellington’s only chance of winning is if he carries the Rice vote and attracts more Northland voters to the polls.

4th District At-Large

Development attorney John Crawford and former councilman Jim Glover will advance to the general election. Businesswoman Annie Presley, who carried the Northland, substantially trailed Crawford in Kansas City south of the river, eliminating her by a margin of 800 votes.

Candidates Anne McGregor and Ed Pace were also eliminated. The fate of this election will be determined by which candidate splits the votes Presley, McGregor and Pace received in the primary, although Glover’s solid lead in the primary gives him an advantage.

5th District At-Large

Incumbent Cindy Circo led opponent Charlie Angel 70-30 percent on both sides of the Missouri River, and is likely to do the same in the general election.

6th District At-Large

Scott Taylor, who is married to Councilwoman Cathy Jolly, will face Tea Party-endorsed opponent Tracy Ward in the general election.

Ward is the only candidates to support the repeal of the city’s one percent earnings tax, which accounts for 40 percent of the city’s revenue and is paid largely by non-KCMO residents who work in the city.

On Feb. 22, Taylor led on both sides of the river and is likely to win if he can attract the votes split between candidates Ricky Abel, Michael Brown, Chuck Eddy, Delmira Quarles and MD Alam Rabbi in the primary election.

For complete election results, go to www.co.platte.mo.us/elections/, www.claycoelections.com and www.kceb.org. For candidate profiles, visit www.midwestdemocracyproject.org.

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