This just in from a political observer who declined to be identified…
"This is the first time Jim Nutter Sr.’s lost a Kansas City mayoral election since H. Roe Bartle was in office," says the source. "Until tonight, he’s won every mayor’s race since H. Roe Bartle – that’s your story."
In an interview earlier this week Nutter confirmed he was backing Mike Burke over eventual winner Sly James. Nutter noted that this was the fourth mayor’s race pitting a black candidate against a white one.
Nutter had backed the winners in the first three; Dick Berkley over Bruce Watkins, Emanuel Cleaver over Bob Lewellen and – to Nutter’s everlasting chagrine – current KC mayor Mark Funkhouser over Alvin Brooks.
This was to be Nutter’s fourth victory in the mayoral races of black versus white. Just one problem..
Clearly, Nutter’s heart wasn’t in this one. After agreeing with me that this was one of the blandest, most uninspiring mayoral contests ever, Nutter said almost apologetically, "I’m for Mike Burke. But I know all that stuff – that he made his money out of the city – he made it all on TIFs. But between the two of ’em, I’m for him."
Look, there’s no way a political animal like Jim Nutter can sit out a Kansas City mayor’sl race. He had to suit up and get in the game – it’s what Nutter does. I look at it as more a case of Nutter tossing a coin and losing, rather than the "kingmaker" losing his touch.
If Nutter had truly believed in and backed Burke to the hilt, Burke would have won.