With more than 70 percent of the vote, Mike Kelly cruises to big primary night win in RP; will face Roger Cooper in general

Mike-Kelly_HeadshotFormer Roeland Park city councilman Roger Cooper will have his work cut out for him if he hopes to mount a serious challenge to attorney Mike Kelly for mayor of Roeland Park.

Primary voters on Tuesday gave Kelly huge momentum heading into the general election cycle, handing him 73 percent of the vote total among the four-candidate field. Cooper finished in a distant second with 11 percent of the total — a performance just good enough to advance to November’s ballot.

Kelly, a political newcomer whose only previous public service experience came in roles on the Roeland Park Sustainability Committee and the Community Foundation Advisory Board, said he was excited and heartened by Tuesday’s results.

“We’re so thankful that the community embraced our message of a community for everybody,” Kelly said. “People realize that Roeland Park is a rising star, and they’re ready, willing and able to keep it moving forward.”

Roeland Park voters have shown a willingness to support fresh faces vying for leadership roles at the ballot box. Architect Joel Marquardt had no experience in elected office when he ran for mayor four years ago, and he easily defeated incumbent Adrienne Foster and councilmember Linda Mau to take the position. (Marquardt decided against seeking a second term).

Mau and fellow former councilmember Scott Gregory each finished with just under 8 percent of the vote total in Tuesday’s mayoral primary. Mau, however, will have her name on the general election ballot for the Ward 3 council race, which she also filed for. She edged William Scott Foy for second place in that election, taking 16 percent of the vote. Claudia McCormack took 71 percent of the vote, and becomes the favorite heading into the general.