The November re-election campaign of Overland Park Mayor Carl Gerlach just got an extra shot of adrenaline — as if it needed it. A national study was released in which Overland Park was named the best place in the entire nation to raise a family.
Wow. Most of us knew that Overland Park, the largest city in Johnson County and the second largest population in the metropolitan area, was a special place. But No. 1 out of 150 of its peers cities? That’s incredible.
That’s not good news, politically speaking, for Charlotte O’Hara, who will be facing off against Gerlach. How would you to like to run against the mayor of the best major city anywhere in the U.S.? It’s going to be very challenging to punch holes in Gerlach’s two decades of stellar leadership, which also include 10 years on the City Council.
O’Hara has her work cut out for her. Her only rallying cry, so far, is that Overland Park gives away too many incentives for economic development, which hurts the taxpayers. Gerlach will have to answer those charges in his campaign.
Gerlach isn’t taking anything for granted in his first race with opposition since he won the seat in 2005. He is out raising money for his campaign, which he will run vigorously. His greatest fear is the big upset, which can surprise even the best candidates if they are overly confident.
But back to the plaudits Gerlach can run on.
There is still plenty of time to write about this…