Mayoral candidates cast votes
By Brad Lucht
Jolie Justus arrived at her polling place at Sacred Heart Hall wearing a special necklace, one given to her by her wife Lucy. It is a ballot box, with a check on it.
“I wear it on election day for good luck, so let’s hope it brings me some good luck today,” she said with a smile.
Justus and her wife sat down and cast their ballots side-by-side. She said it felt great, after a long election cycle, to finally be able come in and cast her vote.
“I’m having a great day today,” she said. “We have an amazing team that’s been out knocking doors and talking to voters about the issues that are important to them. It feels good, and it’s good to connect with people all over the city.”
Justus feels the issues that will decide this campaign and the same issues she has heard from voters since day one: violent crime, streets and sidewalks and trash, and education.
“Those continue to be the top issues voters want to talk about,” she said.
“They tell me they want a mayor who has a lot of experience. Not just in Kansas City, but also in Jefferson City. Someone who has a track record of getting things done. And that’s why they’re supporting me.”
Justus feels this is going to be a close race.
“We have seen in the polls, over and over again it’s basically a tie, a statistical dead heat, with a lot of undecided voters.
“We’re taking nothing for granted. We’re out there right now knocking on doors , trying to get to those undecided voters.
“This is going to be down to the wire,” she concluded.
Like her opponent, Justus will be visiting polls for the rest of the day to say hello to voters. She will also take time to have lunch with Mayor James. Her evening will close with an election watch party at the Mulberry Room, 1321 W. 13th.
Quinton Lucas was up at 4 a.m. election day, eager to see a long campaign come to its conclusion.
“It feels like it’s lasted for about 10 years,” he said to an assembly of the press waiting outside his polling station at the Mount Pleasant Baptist Church. “It has been all consuming. I’m ready to count the votes.”
Lucas plans to spend the day visiting polling places, shaking hands and talking to voters. He intends to thank people for taking part in our democracy.
When asked what it felt like to see his name on the ballot for mayor, Lucas responded, “You know, it’s kind of crazy. It’s always a humbling experience to see your name on anything. But to see your name on the ballot, you’ve got to pinch yourself, and be like, “Wow, that’s me!”
“I grew up in this neighborhood,” he continued. “To be able to have this opportunity now is something, even in my wildest dreams, I couldn’t have thought of 25 years ago. It means a lot to me to be here and be considered for this position.”
Lucas spoke to his mother before she left for the polls.
“I think maybe the most touching thing is how excited she is. She was born in this city in a segregated hospital, raised three children on her own. I don’t think she ever thought her child could be running for mayor of Kansas City. If I’m able to be successful tonight, there’s a whole lot of family that I’ll be sure to give a hug to, and say, you know what, we were able to do it.”
Lucas expects the race to be close.
“Right now I’m pretty relaxed. I think probably about 7, 7:30, 8 o’clock, I’ll start saying, “OK, what’s happening now?”
I expect it to be a tense night,” he concluded.
Lucas will end this evening at his 30th and Troost campaign headquarters.