Government & Politics

August 3, 2014

With contested primaries and issues on ballot, Tuesday’s elections will carry weight

The dog days of summer are here, and Tuesday’s elections feature some hotly contested primary races and issues. Voters on the Missouri side will consider streetcar and transportation tax proposals, and voters in Kansas will decide a primary race for the Johnson County Commission. Some congressional and statehouse districts on both sides of the state line also have primaries.

It may be the lazy days of summer, but this Tuesday’s elections feature important and hotly contested primary races and issues in the Kansas City area.

Voters in a large swath of Kansas City south of the Missouri River will consider a ballot measure, Question A, to establish a taxing district that could ultimately help pay for expanding the streetcar system out of downtown. The language describing the district boundaries goes on for many pages, so voters should not be surprised that it takes a while to wade through the ballot.

If voters approve the streetcar district boundaries, that would set up a November election to consider specific sales and property tax increases.

Kansas City voters citywide will also consider whether to renew a quarter-cent sales tax for the Fire Department. The tax is set to expire in 2016, and renewal would extend it for another 20 years. Grandview and Sugar Creek also have issues on the ballot.

In Jackson County, voters are considering county legislative races, including one pitting Royals great Frank White against retired firefighter Sherwood Smith. Candidates are also jockeying for primary victories in Platte and Clay counties and in Independence.

Missouri voters will decide on several constitutional amendments, including a three-quarter-cent sales tax increase for highway repairs and transportation, which would be the largest tax increase in state history.

On the Kansas side, voters will choose between U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts and challenger Milton Wolf in the Republican primary and will also consider candidates for insurance commissioner and the secretary of state’s office.

Johnson County commission seats are also up for grabs. Three candidates for commission chair — Ed Eilert, Patricia Lightner and Ed Peterson — are vying for two positions to advance to November.

Some congressional and statehouse districts on both sides of the state line also have primaries.

To reach Lynn Horsley, call 816-226-2058 or send email to


Polls on the Missouri side are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on the Kansas side from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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