Despite painless re-election effort, challenges await KC’s James

Kansas City Mayor Sly James | Photo from
Kansas City Mayor Sly James | Photo from

Kansas City Mayor Sly James appears likely to breeze his way to re-election next week, but that doesn’t mean an easy second term awaits James. The future of Kansas City International Airport, Kemper Arena and the city’s nascent streetcar line are issues with which Kansas City’s mayor will have to contend over the next four years.

Ironically, because James has hardly been tested in his re-election campaign, his second term could wind up being more challenging.

In the city’s April 7 primary, James earned 82 percent of the votes to challenger Vincent Lee’s 11 percent. With James’ reelection appearing highly likely, voter turnout could be unusually low in the June 23 general election.

But that could complicate things for James in the future, because grass-roots petition initiatives require signatures from 5 percent of the number of people who voted in the previous mayoral election.

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