The wives of mayoral candidates Sly James and Mike Burke won't be the next Gloria Squitiro if their husbands are elected, according to Fox 4.
Lame duck mayor Mark Funkhouser's wife, Squitiro, cost the city hundreds of thousands in settlements to lawsuits filed by city employees, thanks to her active presence and abrasive personality in the mayor's office at City Hall.
Fox 4's Monica Evans asked James' wife, Licia Clifton-James, whether she'd want an active role at City Hall if her husband wins the March 22 general election. The couple, married 30 years, raised four children together (two from the candidate's previous relationship). Clifton-James said she had no interest in being "co-mayors" with her husband, as the local media took to calling Funkhouser and Squitiro.
Clifton-James is white, and her husband is black. Evans apparently asked Clifton-James whether her reluctance to join her husband in the political spotlight had anything to do with concerns that voters might disapprove of their interracial marriage. Clifton-James said that had nothing to do with it.
"I'm 100 percent behind him, but I very much prefer to be in the background," Clifton-James told Fox 4. "He's the one running for office, not me."
Candidate Burke's wife, Melinda, didn't answer Fox 4's questions, which would seem to indicate that she, too, prefers a low-key role in her husband's campaign.
The primary election on February 22 marked the first time in almost 90 years that an incumbent mayor in Kansas City failed to collect enough voter support to run in the general election.