Kansas City, Missouri, voters elect Lucas as new mayor

In a Thursday, May 30, 2019 photo, Sonja Houston expressed dismay that someone dumped a large pile of trash in her yard to Kansas City mayoral candidate Quinton Lucas, who was going door-to-door in the Ruskin Heights neighborhood. Quinton faces Jolie Justus in the mayoral election Tuesday, June 18, 2019. (Tammy Ljungblad/The Kansas City Star via AP)
In a Tuesday, May 28, 2019 photo, Mario Rojas of Kansas City speaks with Kansas City mayoral candidate Jolie Justus, right, during a meet and greet with the mayoral candidate at La Fonda in Lawrence, Kans.Two candidates with vastly different life stories but several comparable political views are the Tuesday, June 18, 2019 to become Kansas City's next mayor. (Tammy Ljungblad/The Kansas City Star via AP)
In a Saturday, June 8, 2019 photo, Kansas City mayoral candidates Jolie Justus, right, and Quinton Lucas meet at Northland Cathedral for the fifth of six debates sponsored by The Kansas City Star. Two candidates with vastly different life stories but several comparable political views are vying Tuesday, June 18, 2019 to become Kansas City's next mayor. (Shelly Yang/The Kansas City Star via AP)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A 34-year-old black man whose family was occasionally homeless during his childhood in Kansas City, Missouri, will become the city's 55th mayor.

Voters on Tuesday chose Quinton Lucas over fellow City Council member Jolie Justus in a mayoral runoff, according to unofficial results. He will assume office in August, replacing Sly James, another black mayor who served two four-year terms.

Justus, a former state lawmaker and current City Council member, had James' endorsement and would have been the city's first openly gay mayor.

Both Lucas and Justus are attorneys with similar voting records during their first terms on the City Council. During the campaign, both said their top priorities were reducing crime, increasing affordable housing and spreading development projects across the city. Although the election was officially nonpartisan, both candidates are Democrats.

Lucas said he and his family, led by a single mother, were often homeless during his childhood on Kansas City's impoverished east side. Despite those struggles, Lucas won academic scholarships to a prestigious private school in Kansas City and then to Washington University in St. Louis and Cornell Law School. He is a practicing attorney and a member of the University of Kansas law faculty.

During six debates leading up to Tuesday's vote, Lucas and Justus offered different approaches to some of their top priorities. Lucas cast himself as an outsider to city government who wanted to fundamentally change how the city provides basic services and distributes tax incentives to encourage development. He said Justus was too close to developers and to James, and said she would continue policies that shortchanged impoverished areas, particularly the east side.

Justus emphasized her history in the Legislature and on the council as someone willing to collaborate with all sides and find solutions to longstanding issues.

Lucas was the primary sponsor of an ordinance that caps tax abatements or other tax incentives for development at 75%, with some exceptions. Developers had been able to get up to 100% property tax abatement on certain projects, which led to criticism from some that the city awarded tax breaks for private projects too often. Some developers and city officials opposed the plan, concerned it might slow Kansas City's growth and pursuit of development projects.

Justus was chairwoman of the city's airport committee, which ended a nearly seven-year effort to bring a modern single-terminal airport to Kansas City. She acknowledged mistakes were made early in the process when a no-bid deal was considered without public knowledge to allow Burns & McDonnell to build the privately financed single terminal airport. After severe criticism, the no-bid contract was dropped and the city went through a competitive bidding process.

You may also interested in

Junk food fight: Science tests how birds compete...

Aug 12, 2016

It's the early bird that gets the Cheetos but it's the bigger bird that steals it away, scientists...

Incumbent US Sen. Brian Schatz wins Hawaii primary

Aug 14, 2016

Incumbent U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz wins the Democratic primary and is likely to keep his seat in...

Webcam whale research buoyed by viewers around...

Aug 15, 2016

Canadian researchers are turning to internet to learn about the social behavior thousands of beluga...

Tesla: Removal of 'Autopilot' from Chinese site a...

Aug 15, 2016

Tesla says the term "Autopilot" was mistakenly removed from the electric car maker's website for...

Prosecutor: Russian man's computer linked to...

Aug 16, 2016

A federal prosecutor told the jury during opening statements on Monday that when federal agents...

The Next Daily is the new generation of online publication, serving you the most recent discoveries made in science and technology on a daily basis. At The Next Daily, we believe in the power of consistent and reliable reporting to inspire and move mankind forward.

Contact us: sales[at]thenextdaily.com