The NorthSider

Search on for replacement for Fourth Ward alderman

CITY HALL – Officials are struggling to fill vacancies opened by the recent death of Fourth Ward Alderman Sam Moore.

One major step will be for the St. Louis City Democratic Committee to nominate a Democratic candidate to run for office in the Fourth Ward. Before Moore’s death on Feb. 25, he had stipulated that he wanted Fourth Ward Committeewoman Dwinderlin Evans to be his successor.

As a ward committeewoman, Evans will get a vote in the decision, Board of Alderman President Lewis Reed said. She also has a lot of support, Reed added.

Others are able to run as independents, Reed explained.

“If you get to be the Democratic nominee and get to appear on the Democratic ballot, that would be very helpful,” Reed noted. 

The City Democratic Committee will also have to nominate someone to fill the vacancy left by the resignation Tuesday of 12th Ward Alderman Larry Arnowitz.

According to the City Charter, there must be a special election for a vacancy in the Board of Aldermen if it occurred more than 180 days before a city general election. The date should be between 75 and 90 days after the vacancy occurred.

The only Tuesday when there could be a special election in both the Fourth and 12th Wards would be May 19. Gary Stoff, the Republican director of the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners, spoke favorably of that date for an election but wouldn’t make a commitment.

In the Fourth Ward, vacancies will have to be filled for various committee positions Moore held, and in the Intergovernmental Affairs Committee. Moore chaired that committee. 

At the time of Moore’s death, Mayor Lyda Krewson’s nominees for the city/county Board of Freeholders were held up in the Intergovernmental Affairs Committee. That group will discuss the future of the city/county relationship and could recommend an election on a merger between the city and county.

Evans is on the list of people to be freeholders. If Evans is elected an alderwoman, her name would be dropped from the list, Reed said.

“Sam’s going to be missed. Sam was a really, really, really hard-working worker,” Reed said. “In his final weeks, he would stand up at the mic and tell folks like [former mayor] Vince Schoemehl not to come and play in his ward, because he wanted to involve the community in the decision, not people that were just there trying to look out for their own and trying to make a dollar off the community.”

Jim Merkel Born and raised in the St. Louis area, Jim Merkel covered communities throughout the area from 1991 to 2013 for the old Suburban Journals of Greater St. Louis. He is the author of five books about the Gateway City published by Reedy Press. The latest is Growing Up St. Louis: Looking Back Through the Decades. He and his wife, Lorraine, live in the Bevo Mill neighborhood of south St. Louis with Miss Jenny the Cat. For more about Jim, visit

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