In The News: "With a powerful, extemporaneous speech, Quinton Lucas' mayoral prospects start to soar"

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I wrote back in October that Lucas  was “probably the most eloquent and charismatic” among all the mayoral candidates and that he appeared to be “the kind of candidate who could make big strides in a short time.”

Yesterday may well prove to have been a breakout day for him. He gave a spirited, off-the-cuff speech in which he deftly countered — and buried — direct and indirect criticism from two council members.

The direct criticism came from Canady, who charged that he had “grandstanded” the issue and had not taken into consideration opposition that she had heard from several neighborhoods along the Troost/Paseo corridors.

The indirect criticism came from Wagner, who, as mayor pro tem, was presiding in James’ absence. Wagner mounted what I would characterize, regrettably, as petty rationale against the renaming. He said the city had failed to maintain Martin Luther King Jr. Park, located along Brush Creek between Swope Parkway and Cleaver Boulevard.

The 42-acre park lies within Lucas’ 3rd District, and Wagner seemed to imply Lucas was partly responsible for its “pathetic” and “disgraceful” condition by not directing sufficient capital improvements funds toward its upkeep. Wagner went on to suggest that if a park already named for King was not adequately maintained, a boulevard named for him might fall into equal disregard.

While Wagner was talking, Lucas jotted down a few notes, and then he rose to speak.

Here’s part of what he said…”

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Quinton Lucas