It is election day in Kansas City, Missouri and a new Mayor will soon be selected to represent the people. Candidates Sly James and Mike Burke are both running clean campaigns to become the city’s top elected official. Their campaigns have been so clean that the two candidates have both joked about asking their opponent to take a position in the winner’s administration.
Though there are also city council and judicial elections today, the Mayor’s race is where the light shines. The candidates pledged to create a much different city than the one residents have experienced under current Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser. Both candidates pledged to push for raises for city workers if the budget permits, and improve community policing.
James is an African American attorney who has never held public office. He has, however, been formally endorsed by the Kansas City Star, the city’s newspaper.
“Sly James stands out,” said the Star. “He offers himself as a mayor who will be an ambassador and savvy advocate for Kansas City. He promises to direct his talents at uniting a still-fractured community into a unified, more confident and upbeat metropolis.”
The endorsement goes on to note that,
Even some who back his opponent say James is a charismatic presence who fills a room with hope of better days ahead. He’s a good listener and someone who has gathered creative ideas from other cities to help make Kansas City a more competitive player. A sense of humor, a quick wit and a dash of humility add to his appeal…James has articulated a creative way forward. He has pledged to use his extensive negotiating skills to bring together disparate communities — north and south of the river, east and west of Troost — while working to bring in more jobs, provide better services to residents and reduce the persistently high violent crime rate.
Candidate James said during a debate that he is looking to raise more money for the city through a program called Citistats which has been successful in Baltimore, MD.