Frontrunner?

The Star’s Steve Kraske last week penned a piece that ranked the candidates for the upcoming Mayoral election in tiers, ranking Councilwoman Justus out of the clear blue sky as the so called frontrunner. Kraske’s article went on to rank Scott Taylor and his campaign war chest as a Tier III candidate along with Mayor Pro Tem Scott Wagner. Interestingly Kraske’s Tier II choices haven’t announced their candidacy yet, much less if they’ll join the already crowded fray. Third District Councilman Quinton Lucas and Missouri State Senator Ryan Silvey are listed but neither has yet to officially enter the race. As an aside, it would be an interesting face-off if Silvey and Scott Wagner were the two finalists, given both hail from Oak Park High School and were national qualifiers in their Speech and Debate programs.

Justus as a “frontrunner” doesn’t excite this Newsdog, especially given her trips to Historic Northeast can be counted on one hand with fingers leftover. Justus has been largely ineffective in her stint on the council but she’s a Mayor James lackey, er, favorite who is frankly more interested in making a name for herself by glomming on to the Mayor’s list of legacy projects rather than serving her constituency effectively. The “blue ribbon” crime commission she was appointed to chair has been woefully inept at lowering the city’s violent crime numbers. While the city’s homicide rate continues to spike, the only solutions we get from the committee is rhetoric threatening the second amendment rights of law-abiding citizens protecting themselves in a county whose prosecutor routinely lets violent criminals go free from jail.

Her time in Jefferson City was largely ineffectual as well, being ranked at the bottom of the chart when it came to her voting record on bills related to business development. According to Ballotpedia, both the Missouri Alliance for Freedom and the Americans for Prosperity in Missouri gave her an F grade given her anti-business votes in the Missouri Senate’s 2014 term. A quick perusal of the other legislative report cards show largely the same record when it came to business-related issues. Justus did, however, gain a spot on the Missouri Sierra Club’s Honor Roll, voting 100% for the club’s agenda during the 2014 senate term.

It might be early in the race for the city’s next Mayor, though this Dog isn’t excited about the possibility of someone with such a stark lack of business acumen occupying the big office in City Hall’s 29th floor. This critically-thinking newshound advises looking a little deeper than the social media click-bait advanced by the campaign consultants. Do your research and make smart choices that will help grow the city’s small business base, instead of attempting to regulate it out of existence.

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