Kansas City 2023 Primary Contests To Watch

Just to clarify . . . That's a screencap of the Eye of Sauron and NOT a reference to former lady friends and their eternal disappointment in TKC.

But I digress . . . Right now we'd like to share a few insights about contests worth a peek today. 

We'll try to make it quick . . .

Incumbent Council Dude Kevin O'Neill Too Progressive For An Old School Union Dude?!?

Our main takeaway . . . 

Kevin O'Neill is a nincompoop but he holds more union money than any other council candidate. Because of carelessness for the deep pockets that support him, he sided with reparations, environmental efforts and push back against police funding. 

Meanwhile . . . 

Pam Mason is the more serious contender but she has her own baggage amongst the vicious circle of Clay County Republicans and their silly strip mall bubble. Sadly, Ms. Mason didn't spend a lot of cash and her establishment GOP stance won't win a lot of love amongst at-large voters. 

Will KC Tenants Reshape Northland Politics?!?

This is a contest worth watching. 

Mickey Younghanz has more grassroots local love than any of these candidates but less money. 

Meanwhile . . . 

Lindsey French proved PAINFULLY SHY on the campaign trail and didn't leave much of an impression on voters. Still . . . She's the establishment candidate of the Northland civic set.

Finally . . .

Timely donations, social media hype and the New York Times are trumpeting Jenay Manley for a "transformative" victory. 


This debate will grow more intense but here's how we're watching it:


Higher than 7 and she can leverage donations, endorsements and citywide support. 

Anything less and she risks disappointing so many people who have touted her candidacy as the new generation of Freedom, Inc. and East side leadership. 

Moreover . . . There's still room for incumbent Councilman Brandon Ellington to raise more money and promote his grassroots style of leadership over the elite urban coalition who are supporting Ms. Patterson Hazley. 


Back To Basics, Newbies Or Bike Lanes In 4th District?!?

Without question . . . Most voters already know Henry Rizzo and understand that he's a tireless campaigner with a command of local issues and knowledge of neighborhoods that's unparalleled. Over the course of COVID incumbent councilman Eric Bunch incurred countless enemies outside of his Bike/Walk bubble that include his former council aide Crissy Dastrup who is now running against him. Tonight's results will provide a helpful but not definitive gauge of the 4th District and how voters feel about progressive experiments vs. a more traditional approach to civic leadership. 

Who Can Separate Themselves From The Crowd In The 4th District At-Large???

More than any other contest, this vote will tell us a great deal about progressive KCMO stands politically. 

Crispin Rea has done his best to campaign on his local Latino roots, professional credentials and wide array of endorsements from Democratic Party leaders. 

Surprisingly . . . Justin Short has also garnered a great deal of social media traction and Northland police & PAC endorsements thanks to his extremely rich parents. Strangely, the po-po backing & big money connections haven't chased away the love of his LGBT commish pals and quite a few activists.

Meanwhile . . .

More thoughtful progressives are quietly moving toward Jess Blubaugh who has run a classically boring Kansas City low-key campaign. 

John DiCapo & Grace Cabrera aren't likely to make it past primary BUT they have impressed quite a few people with their charm and fascinating life stories . . . Not joking about that at all . . . From what we've heard, people really have responded well to both of these candidates and their unique perspectives that make our local political discourse vibrant. 

Will Theresa Cass Galvin's Stealthy Campaign Prove Effective?!?!

Former Jackson County Legislator Theresa Cass Galvin is either playing a brilliant bit of rope-a-dope politics or she's just being lazy.  

Michael Kelly is running the most aggressive campaign but bike lanes are a hard sell after neighbors clapped back against his Bike/Walk KC organization on Truman Road. 

Can Dan Tarwater Rise Above Radical Progressive Crowd?!?!

Brookside is the main battlefield here and we're curious to see if longtime former Jackson County Legislator Dan Tarwater can capitalize on his career commitment to public service OR if progressive fervor will overshadow his decades of work. The KC Tenants candidate Johnathan Duncan isn't as strong as some of his fellow social media screamers but still has a fighting chance to make the primary given a great deal of support for leftist protest movements in this part of town.


Love Lost: Connections Or Community In South Side 6th At-Large Contest?!?

Here's what insiders know . . .

Andrea Bough doesn't have as much backup as she once did when she first entered local politics. 

Nevertheless . . . 

She's still a top Kansas City lawyer with a hefty campaign war chest and a great many connections amongst the cowtown elite . . . AKA all of the partners at Shook, Polsinelli & Husch Blackwell. 

Now . . . 

Allow us a personal aside . . . 

Mary Nestal is what local politics should be about . . . She has a sterling reputation as a local biz woman and so many of her former clients have nothing but good things to say about her. Ms. Nestal has spent her career forging a strong connection to her community through service and her business -- Long ago, THAT was the most trusted route for local elected leaders who wanted to continue their public service.

We don't tell people who to vote for in Kansas City but locals might find that a great deal of our insights are confirmed with others who are following these contests. 

We hope to update later and wish everyone the best of luck. 

Given the dystopian circumstances of so much that applies to American politics . . . We'll end this election day post with a nod to pop lit greatness . . . 

 Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor . . .