Kansas City politics is a cruel game and rather than mourn the passing of local political legend with empty pleasantries and platitudes, it's more important to take note of all the power players ready to position themselves as the new king of the local election game.
To wit . . .
HERE ARE THE TOP CONTENDERS TO REPLACE STEVE GLORIOSO AS KANSAS CITY'S TOP POLITICAL CONSULTANT!!!
Sorry for excluding a few names that deserve mention but these dudes are the most likely to resonate citywide . . .
Former City Councilman Terry Riley
Mr. Riley stays behind the scenes for the most part but his recent work for construction interests along with Burns & Mac has afforded him a higher profile. What most denizens of the local political scene don't know is that Mr. Riley has been working connections betwixt D.C. & KC in order to hedge his client roster.
Jeff Roe & Axiom
The GOP Juggernaut has the biggest and most formidable consulting firm in Kansas City that operates on a national level BUT that still hasn't helped him push one of his KCMO candidates over the top.
Mr. Roe is mainstream and has been for quite some time, his powerhouse firm is awarded strategic and consulting contracts on most of the major KC City Hall ballot initiatives but AXIOM has yet to demonstrate any aptitude in the local grassroots/ground game in smaller Council races that help secure those big contracts . . . Mr. Roe's penchant for hiring tall, highly qualified white guys hampers his ability to convince most working stiff voters that his firm's candidates have their best interests at heart. Real talk: An army of 6'5 Joe College campaigners scares most people who don't like the hard sell . . . Even if it's for 'Merica. Don't believe TKC? Talk to Sen. Ted Cruz about data driven campaigns vs. the "locker room talk" of more charismatic politicos who connect with the voting public.
Front Runner: Jason Parson
He's the architect of campaigns for Burns & Mac, The Streetcar and the Downtown hotel . . . Moreover, we respect his hands-off approach and laid back style that elicits a great deal of jealousy from rival consultants who drive themselves crazy with a constant stream of mostly useless information. More than any other consultant, Jason Parsons has hitched his star to the development agenda of Mayor Sly James and now confronts a unique opportunity to gain ground among his competitors.
Honorable mention . . . Council Lady Jolie Justus has a guy who is pretty good and earns a lot of "churn & burn" direct mail work and he should make a bigger mark next election cycle . . . And there are a few minor league players who come up with
Still . . . As silly season approaches, look for more consultants to attempt to make their mark in the aftermath of the passing of a legend and a local "king maker" vacuum.
Developing . . .