KANSAS CITY, Missouri - Sylvester "Sly" James was elected mayor of Kansas City
With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, James had 54
percent of the votes, while Mike Burke had 46 percent of the votes.
Burke's concession speech, he pledged to help
James in any way he could.
In February, James beat Burke by 38 votes out of more than
50,800 cast in the primary where only about 15 percent turned
James, 59, brings decades of legal experience and runs his own
law firm. He said in the past his experience as a mediator will
bring people together.
According to his
website , in 1971 he enlisted in the United
States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War where he served as a
military police officer for four years in California, the
Philippines, and Japan and received an honorable discharge in 1975.
When his service ended, Sly returned home to Kansas City and
graduated from Rockhurst College before earning his law degree from
the University of Minnesota in 1983.
Burke, 61, has more than 30 years of experience dealing with the
city government on a variety of economic development,
infrastructure and civic projects. Burke has served as a part of
the city's government as a councilman in the 1980s and worked with
the city's leaders on a variety of high-profile boards and
As Kansas City's mayor, James is faced with a city budget in
turmoil and the prospect of losing an estimated $200 million per
year if voters next month decide to phase out Kansas City's
earnings tax. A high murder rate and the steady loss of business
across the state line into Kansas also are issues that will
confront the new administration.