Kansas City, Missouri elected Kay Waldo Barnes as its first female mayor on Tuesday. Barnes defeated Mayor Pro Tem George Blackwood by 59 percent to 41 percent. The race was expected to be close because both candidates had worked mostly behind the scenes of the city government and offered little name recognition.
Since 1995 corruption has filled the city government. Three City Council members were convicted of felonies and several public officials have been investigated in a federal corruption probe. Trying to counter this corruption, Barnes focused her campaign on bringing a new perspective to running the city. “I want us to be a city where neighborhoods flourish, businesses grow and we’re proud of this place we call home.”
Barnes is president of her own human resource development consulting firm, Kay Waldo, Inc. From 1979-1983 she served as a member of the City Council. Her inauguration as mayor will take place on April 10. “I feel honored and humbled by the voters,” she said of her victory that came on her 61st birthday.