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Kansas City Voters Elect Slate Supporting Streetcar Extension

David Johnson and Pat Duff
Brian Ellison
KCUR 89.3
Kansas City resident Pat Duff (right) talks with Transportation Development District director candidate David Johnson after casting his ballot on Saturday at the offices of The Whole Person on Main Street.

The effort to extend the Kansas City streetcar line scored a victory Saturday as voters elected a slate endorsed by expansion advocates to a new board of directors.

According to unofficial results, some 2,636 out of about 35,000 potential voters cast ballots Saturday, choosing among 19 candidates for the board of the Main Street Rail Transportation Development District (TDD), which was formed in a special mail-in election this summer.

All seven of those elected were endorsed by Connect KC, the group spearheading streetcar extension efforts. Four unsuccessful candidates were endorsed by SMART KC, which has opposed the streetcar development. Eight other unsuccessful candidates told KCUR in interviews that they support the streetcar extension, but did not carry Connect KC's endorsement.

Two former Kansas City Council members, Jan Marcason and Cindy Circo, were among the top vote-getters, earning three-year terms on the board. Also elected were Ruben Alonso III to a three-year term, David Johnson and Jeff Krum to two-year terms, and Crissy Dastrup and Leonard J. Graham to one-year terms. The anti-streetcar candidate receiving the most votes, Linda Hart Tabory, received more than 1,000 votes short of election.

The newly elected board will have the power to propose property assessments or other mechanisms for funding an extension of the streetcar from its existing terminal at Union Station south to the Country Club Plaza and UMKC.

Any proposed taxes would still require approval in a third election for voters in the TDD.

(Efforts to extend the streetcar were complicated when Kansas City voters narrowly approved a ballot question in August that could prohibit the city from promoting streetcar extension without a citywide vote. But the impact of that vote on current efforts is unclear, and the City Council has not yet decided how and whether to implement the measure.)

Complete unofficial results of Saturday's election with all precincts reporting are below. Elected candidates are in bold.

  • David Johnson     - 1,807
  • Cindy Circo     - 1,942
  • Jeff Krum     -1,774
  • Timothy Zook     - 196
  • Ruben Alonso III     - 1,810
  • Jan Marcason     - 1,947
  • Crissy Dastrup     - 1,773
  • Leonard J. Graham     - 1,688
  • Ted Derks     - 477
  • Tyler Watt     - 166
  • Greg Allen     - 645
  • William D. Farrar     - 110
  • Linda Hart Tabory     - 706
  • Quinton Lowry Shaw     - 168
  • Timothy Jury     - 129
  • Brendan Waters     - 172
  • Jesse Whidden     - 125
  • Dane Mehringer     - 146
  • Steve McCandless     - 690

Host/Contributor Brian Ellison covers Missouri government and politics for KCUR 89.3. He can be reached at brian@kcur.org or followed on Twitter, @ptsbrian.

As a host and contributor at KCUR, I seek to create a more informed citizenry and richer community. I want to enlighten and inspire our audience by delivering the information they need with accuracy and urgency, clarifying what’s complicated and teasing out the complexities of what seems simple. I work to craft conversations that reveal realities in our midst and model civil discourse in a divided world. Follow me on Twitter @ptsbrian or email me at brian@kcur.org.
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