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Mayor James Wins Second Term; Katheryn Shields, Heather Hall Edge Out Incumbents

Cody Newill
Kansas City Mayor Sly James won his second term with 87 percent of votes.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James floated to an easy victory over opponent Vincent Lee in Tuesday's municipal election, while Katheryn Shields beat out Councilman Jim Glover in a tight race for the 4th District seat. 

James won with 87 percent of votes, according to unofficial election board results. Despite thoughts that a June election might increase turnout, the opposite turned out to be true: only 13 percent of registered voters in Jackson County cast a vote.

Turnout was even lower in Clay and Platte counties, both of which saw just 8 percent of voters show up to the polls.

Still, James remained upbeat in his victory speech, focusing on the city's reputation as a major win during his first term.

"Even [President Obama] in his third trip to Kansas City in four years said that there was something happening here," James said. "We have to be doing something right because Kansas City is on the move, people know who we are without us going out and telling them, and they know that good things are happening."

James also touted the No Violence Alliance and the city's dramatically lowered homicide rate in 2014 as signs that the city is on a good course.

Meanwhile, in the closest race of the night, former Jackson County Executive Katheryn Shields edged out 4th District At-Large incumbent Jim Glover by a slim margin of 110 votes.

Shields, who served on the city council from 1987 to 1994, said she is looking forward to working with the new council.

"We may from time to time have differences, but for the most part, our love of the city is going to unite us," Shields said. "I really just want to be a voice for common sense approaches to the various issues facing this city."

Glover wasn't the only incumbent council member ousted; Dick Davis of the 1st District lost to Heather Hall, 54 percent to 46 percent.

Cody Newill is part of KCUR's audience development team. Follow him on Twitter @CodyNewill or email him at cody@kcur.org.
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