Jolie Justus and Quinton Lucas, both members of the City Council of Kansas City, are running in the June 18 election to be the city’s next mayor. The winner will succeed Mayor Sly James (D), who was prevented by term limits from seeking re-election.
Justus and Lucas advanced from an 11-candidate primary election field. In the April 2 primary, Justus received 22.8 percent of the vote and Lucas received 18.4 percent.
Lucas led in both pre-election polls, conducted between mid-April and mid-May, receiving 38 percent support in each poll to Justus’ 31 percent and 30 percent. Each candidate has received the endorsement of one other member of the city council. Justus was also endorsed by Mayor James, while Lucas was endorsed by The Kansas City Star newspaper.
In 2019, elections are being held in 59 of America’s 100 largest cities by population. That includes elections for mayor in 31 of the 100 largest cities. In 20 of those cities, the incumbent mayor was Democratic at the start of 2019. Seven incumbents were Republican, three were independent, and the affiliation of one was unknown.
Kansas City uses a council-manager system. In this form of municipal government, an elected city council—which includes the mayor and serves as the city’s primary legislative body—appoints a chief executive called a city manager to oversee day-to-day municipal operations and implement the council’s policy and legislative initiatives. The mayor’s primary responsibilities are to preside over city council meetings and official city ceremonies and to represent the city on the state, national, and international levels.