Kansas City Mayor Sly James will get the most votes in Tuesday’s primary. No doubt about it.
But even if James gets, say, 80 percent of the vote, he will have to spend the next 11 weeks campaigning against another mayoral candidate who also will make it to the June 23 general election.
So choose your poison, voters: Do you want James to face Clay Chastain or Vincent Lee? (Mobile users go here.)
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People who don’t want James to serve a second term — and they do exist — have a choice to make.
Chastain is far better known given his years of mostly failed petition drives on behalf of large, unrealistic light-rail projects. So he could be the favorite to advance.
But hang on.
Chastain doesn’t really live in Kansas City, and a lot of people know that. If voters hold that fact against him, that brings us to ....
Lee is unheralded in political circles, and that likely will hurt in a low-turnout primary that should attract people who know at least a little something about politics and are dedicated enough to troop to the polls.
Except, Lee could get through precisely because of his status as a cipher in the local world of politics.
After all, if some voters think James is too connected to political power brokers in Kansas City — and Chastain turns them off — why not vote for Lee and at least set up an entertaining David vs. Goliath general election?
Tuesday’s primary results won’t keep James or his supporters up late Tuesday night.
But the election will give either Chastain or Lee the next 11 weeks to campaign against James and for their vision of Kansas City’s future.