Former Kansas City Councilman Dan Cofran has decided to bypass a challenge to incumbent Mayor Sly James in the spring elections.
His announcement came on the same day that transit activist Clay Chastain announced that he would mount a campaign against James.
This is a swap that the incumbent will undoubtedly gladly take.
Cofran would have been a decided underdog. But as a former mayoral candidate, he had campaign experience and a deep knowledge of the city. He would’ve given James a run.
That won’t happen with Chastain, who lives in Virginia.
In a statement to reporters, Cofran pointed to the obvious:
“Unseating an incumbent mayor is a difficult and major undertaking, even when in my opinion a sitting mayor is significantly out of step with taxpayer priorities and expectations for responsible spending,” he said.
Cofran said a better use of his time will be working with the grass-roots Citizens Association to recruit new leaders for the city.
“We can't `fold the tent’ and go home,” Cofran wrote. “Holding elected officials accountable after an election is key. The Citizens Association is not a `once every four years’ organization. We have to work just as hard during the four years in between elections to keep the public informed and regularly press our positions with elected officials.
“There's an old saying . . . `In a democracy, you get the government you deserve.’ We deserve the best. So let's get out there and earn it.”