Radical to the right, ‘boot-licker’ to the left. Kansas City mayor on America’s polarization.


Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Quinton Lucas had just recovered from a mild bout of Covid-19 when he announced last week he would seek reelection and then proposed requiring children to wear masks in schools.

It’s the sort of action that’s fueled five attempts to recall the first-term mayor, a Democrat who’s been in office since 2019. But during the latest effort, in November, organizers gathered just 4,000 signatures, about 30 percent of what they needed to force a new election.

Lucas, 37, is among a group of Democratic mayors across conservative states that seem to be managing Covid-19 as much as they’re jousting with Republican officials looking to force a hands-off approach to the pandemic.

The mayor says he has a good working relationship with Republican Gov. Mike Parson. The bigger challenge has been the pushback with Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who Lucas describes as “a charlatan” and a phony. (A spokesperson for the attorney general responded, “We believe in the freedom of Kansas City residents, even if their own mayor doesn’t.”)

“This man has sued every school district in Missouri, every city council, every county commission that he can. And Kansas City has

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