Can Johnson, Wescoat play nice?

May 30, 2014 

John Beaudoin

FILE PHOTO

It’s the primary election everyone will be keeping an eye on this coming August.

Johnson vs. Wescoat.

It’s like a pay-per-view event.

All we need is an over-the-top info graphic (like the TV stations blast out) with a face-to-face photo of each candidate.

Then we could officially go berserk about this upcoming election.

Johnson, our current county auditor, and Wescoat, Johnson’s deputy auditor until Dec. 9, 2011, both filed for the Aug. 5 primary back on Feb. 25.

The joint filing officially files another chapter in the sometimes tumultuous relationship between the two men.

During a time when county finances were in shambles and money was slipping out of the courthouse for a plethora of questionable projects, Johnson and Wescoat were, seemingly, working together to right the ship. At least as much as each could from the auditor’s office.

But that partnership lasted just six months, with Wescoat getting the axe and the two vehemently disagreeing on why it happened.

Wescoat says he was caught in a dispute between then-commissioner Brian Baker and Johnson over the failed broadband project and reimbursements.

Johnson contends Wescoat was let go for insubordination and using a county computer and email for personal uses.

One thing is for sure – a difference in personality and priorities got in the way of these two working together.

Wescoat maintained his role on the Raymore City Council, though, and has been able to stay away from the county fray while maintaining a public image since the fracas in December 2011.

Johnson has remained in the county limelight, often questioning spending among his colleagues at the courthouse.

So how will that all play out on Aug. 5?

I suppose it depends on how nicely the two can play during election season.

Questions about Johnson’s signage around Cass County have already cropped up, and sniping on social media will certainly surface as we get closer to that primary.

These guys will talk finances, the role of the county auditor and just about every topic in between leading up to the primary.

Just remember guys, like any good boxing match…you have to shake hands first before you come out swinging.

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