Let’s begin with a follow-up of some political results of last week’s election, looking in particular at some of the breakdowns within the county. We do that by looking at specific vote totals in each precinct. I requested the precinct-by-precinct results from the board of elections in recent days and director Chris Hershey quickly furnished.
First, a quick look at Amendment 3, which is the question dealing with legalization of recreational marijuana. As we reported last week, Platte County voters approved marijuana legalization by a margin of 62-38%, which is way above the level that voters approved it statewide. Remember, statewide voters approved it but by a significantly lower margin of 53-47%. Obviously this can be interpreted as sign that by a wide margin Platte County voters don’t believe the use of recreational marijuana to be a significant wrong in the eyes of the law. In fact only one precinct within Platte County opposed the legalization of marijuana. Which precinct was that? Thanks for asking, I’m about to tell you. The voters at the Camden Point precinct in northern Platte County opposed the legalization of weed by a count of 53% opposed to 47% in favor.
We’ll talk more about details surrounding the marijuana result in future editions of your favorite newspaper.
A lot of Platte Countians are done with Trump. How do I know this? Other than, you know, I hear it in personal conversations with many local politicos, even folks in positions of power in the Republican party who don’t want to say it publicly, for whatever reason.
An obvious sign Trump fatigue is so real in Platte County? Look at how Eric Schmitt, Missouri’s often radical–in a Trump sort of way–attorney general who was easily elected to the US Senate statewide. As we pointed out last week, many Platte Countians wanted nothing to do with Schmitt extremism. Schmitt carried Platte County by less than one percent of the vote: 49.36% for Schmitt to 48.38% for his opponent, Democrat Trudy Busch Valentine.
Remember, Schmitt won statewide by 13 percent and yet he carried Platte County by less than one percent. Let that sink in if before choosing to debate the negative Trump effect.
By now, those of you who pay close attention know what word I was referring to in the Oct. 19 Between the Lines while discussing reports of Democrats gaining ground into Republicans’ previously firm grip on the county. I wrote this: “If this talk of Democratic growth in Platte County is true, I have a theory that I’ll share with you at a later time. Hint: it’s one word, five letters.”
I heard from several readers who had it figured out right away. In case you hadn’t thought about it, the one word with five letters to which I was referring is T-R-U-M-P.
In retrospect it seems very spot-on to me, but I’m biased. Many Platte County Republicans who are burned out with Trump’s nonsense are voting split tickets.
Parkville Mayor Dean Katerndahl is a Between the Lines reader and not afraid to admit it, unlike the previous mayor of Parkville, who was a loyal Landmark reader but pretended not to be. The reason we know she was a loyal reader is that she couldn’t resist trying to scream “fake news” about anything that was reported about her. And I still beam with pride while watching a recorded interview (it never hit the airwaves, but I have a copy) with a reporter from Channel 41 in which the previous mayor spent more time talking about The Landmark than she did about most any other topic. How would she know all about what was in The Landmark if her claim of “I don’t read The Landmark” were true? One of the mysteries of modern life, really.
But I digress. Back to Katerndahl, who thankfully has a personality nothing similar to his predecessor. After reading a recent Between the Lines column dealing with potentially changing political demographics in Platte County, Katerndahl was kind enough to send me some 2020 census information/analysis recently released by the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC). According to the MARC demographic profile, Platte County grew by about 17,000 people in the last decade and about two-thirds of those were people of color.
That’s interesting information, and may be a factor in perceived Democratic growth, in particular in southern Platte County.
Recently on Landmark Live, State Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer said the growth of younger families moving to southern Platte County–because of the quality of schools–from other areas of Kansas City is another likely reason for changing trends in the county. A majority of young voters tend to lean Democratic.
There’s a belief in some political circles that the 12th district state representative in southern Platte County is majority Democratic.
The 12th district state rep race is where Democrat Jamie Johnson defeated Republican Tom Hutsler. Not sure if the district as a whole is a majority Democratic, but there are a few of the nine precincts within that district where that seems to be the case. I say that because there are some precincts in that district where strong Republican candidates like Congressman Sam Graves and State Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer struggled. For instance, Luetkemeyer failed to win against his Democratic opponent Sarah Shorter in the precincts of Houston Lake/Southeast, Platte Woods/Park Hill, and Line Creek. Graves also failed to win those same three precincts. In fact, at the Line Creek precinct, Graves and Luetkemeyer were each defeated by a significant margin of 57-43%.
But my math for the 12th district overall–meaning the total of the nine precincts in the district, as well as absentees–shows Graves and Luetkemeyer each carried the district by a count of about 52-48%. Hutsler, meanwhile, lost the district, with Democrat Johnson defeating him 52-48%.
(Get more clear as mud analysis from Foley via email to ivan@plattecountylandmark or on Twitter as @ivanfoley)