Jolie Justus and Quinton Lucas, have been working hard for your vote. On Tuesday, June 18, 2019, the voters of Kansas City will decide who will run the city for the next 4 years. Many have said, “they are both good candidates and both will move the city forward with a positive agenda for the future.”



BY JOE ARCE AND COREY CRABLE


As Kansas Citians prepare to head to the polls to vote for a new mayor on June 18, both candidates seem to disagree on whether the race has been entirely free of mudslinging.

When then-candidate Sly James ran against Mike Burke for mayor, the two men struck a gentleman’s agreement – no negativity, no attacking your opponent. Emerging as the victor, James will leave City Hall on July 31.

Councilwoman and mayoral candidate Jolie Justus, for her part, says she thinks both she and opponent Quinton Lucas, also a councilman, have run a clean race. The two faced off in a town hall debate at the Guadalupe Centers last month, where they both shared their visions for creating jobs improving neighborhood safety, ease of mobility, and infrastructure successfully executing the construction of a single terminal at Kansas City International Airport and embracing diversity at all levels of government.

“Councilman Lucas and I have a good working relationship, so we’ve been able to be civil throughout the campaign,” Justus told KC Hispanic News. “It has been a civil campaign.”

Lucas says he disagrees, pointing to the James and Burke mayoral race as an example of how a political race should be managed.

“It was going that way until the councilwoman put on her website that I was untrustworthy and ineffectual,” Lucas said. “That’s the sort of thing we’re not going to engage in. I’m happy with spreading my message that we’re building a positive future for our city.”

Lucas also made reference to an advertisement run on a website for a political organization called KC Election Facts. On May 23, the organization posted its ad to Facebook as well.

The advertisement, paid for by an organization called Carpenters Help in the Political Process (CHIPP), alleges that “Quinton Lucas took thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from buddies at his former law firm and then voted to give them a $475k contract from the city.” Most of the responses from Facebook users voiced support of Lucas and criticized Justus, even though her name is mentioned nowhere in the ad or its related literature.

The Justus campaign does, however, have the support of various labor organizations, and Justus is enthusiastic about one in particular.

“I’m excited about the labor union that represents the city employees. They have endorsed me, and I’m very proud of that,” she said. “The City Worker Union has endorsed me. When I’m attracting new jobs for the city, they know I’m creating more opportunities for their men and women to go to work.”

Justus also has garnered an endorsement from outgoing Mayor Sly James, who sent an e-mail to supporters soliciting donations to the Justus campaign.

With Jolie, what you see is what you get,” he wrote, “and that is proven, effective, and honest leadership.”

Lucas, meanwhile, has received official endorsements from the Kansas City Fire Department and the Fraternal Order of Police.

“I think this is going to be an election for a lot of us who have been underdogs for a lot of reasons,” Lucas said. “I look forward to being a mayor for all of Kansas City, not just a few (people).”

Jolie touted her years of experience in leadership at both the city and state levels as a primary reason she would be the better choice for Kansas Citians.

“I have a track record of always showing up, telling the truth, and getting things done,” she said. “If we want our success to go into every portion of the city, we need a strong leader who can do that. Everything I’ve done has been giving back to this community, and we have the results to prove it.”

Both candidates say the remaining days leading up to the June 18 election will be full of volunteers canvassing neighborhoods and knocking on doors, as well as increased print, broadcast, and digital ads.

Lucas says the CHIPP ad in question has no validity and is simply “another reflection of dirty politics.”

“I think these attacks are below Councilwoman Justus and they are beneath her supporters,” Lucas said. “Instead, I’m going to take the high road throughout this race.”