Silver lining here in Jackson County from last week’s election: at least we’re not Broward County, Florida.
A whopping 67 percent of registered voters came out to weigh in on everything from Jefferson City representation to judges and pot to fixing potholes.
And for the most part, Lee’s Summit continued its tradition of sending Republicans to Jefferson City.
Full disclosure as I write about these races: I was paid by the campaign of former Lee’s Summit Parks & Recreation Administrator Tom Lovell to do media work.
Lovell lost his bid to head to our capitol to Democratic newcomer Keri Ingle.
Surrounding Republicans fared better, though, as Rebecca Roeber was voted back in to her District 34 seat, Jon Patterson, another newcomer, was elected to the District 30 spot and Dan Stacy won his bid to return to Jefferson City to represent District 31.
A heavily funded blue wave certainly didn’t come to fruition in Lee’s Summit, however. For the second straight year, Mike Cierpoit defeated a strong ground and social media game of Hillary Shields — this time by a shocking 7,000 votes.
Anyone watching the Shields camp knows she knocked on a ton of doors and shook more hands than most seasoned politicians ever get to. But it didn’t translate to votes on a night where more than 75,000 voters cast a ballot in that race.
Of course — indicative of our national discourse and decorum — how campaigns and Political Action Committees went about the business of procuring votes left a lot to be desired.
PACs and outside influences sent out material on Roeber that allegedly showed the state representative asleep (literally) at the wheel in Jefferson City. While that punch is below the belt, someone should let Roeber know that type of inefficiency in elected government isn’t acceptable.
Republican money went out to paint Shields as a radical — just as it did a year ago when the two went toe-to-toe for the remaining term of Will Kraus’s seat.
And Ingle’s campaign used a sketchy source to demean Lovell. In the process of trying to paint her opponent in a negative light, the Ingle flyer quoted an article that was indefensible and lacked any of its own credible sourcing or any discernable amount of responsible reporting. Ingle and her team should never use such “news sources” as legitimate.
When Democrats start quoting stories from far-right-wing newspapers, you know local politics has gotten downright ugly.
My hope is the candidate herself is better than that and will rise to the occasion to bring our District 35 reasonable and rational representation in Jefferson City.
And hey, more silver linings: nearly 152,000 of our 225,000-plus registered voters waded through long lines, lengthy ballots and lawyer-filled language to exercise their right to vote.
That, perhaps, was the most unpredictable outcome of the day.
And my naïve hope now is this: that we will have engagement anywhere near this close from the voters as we approach school board elections in Lee’s Summit next April.
Editor's Note: John Beaudoin is a Lee's Summit resident and award winning writer and former newspaper publisher in the Lee's Summit community. Views and opinions expressed in his columns do not necessarily reflect those of Link 2 Lee's Summit, it's employees or any other guest contributors.