KANSAS CITY, MO. – Mike Burke was gracious in defeat as he watched Sly James take the lead to become Kansas City's next mayor . KCUR's Dan Verbeck watched the Burke team in its final hours of political life and filed this account.
Analysts were unhappy from the outset, sitting in a windowless room positioned right underneath the waterfall in the Westin Crown Center, one floor below. Not a sound permeated to muffle sentences like " If we can't pull 75 percent in the center city .."
Burke's 2 to 1 margin on his northland home turf had been far less than he wanted-- needed. The candidate's power-team rarely smiled and when they did, it looked forced.
By time he conceded, Burke was sounding upbeat, glad James would be a positive force, telling disappointed supporters--"and I'm pleased that as a result of tonight's election, we will have a mayor that will help tell that Kansas City story and make us proud again."
Burke says he's not ready for a vacation. He'll work right up to the next election promoting the city E-Tax.