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St. Louis Democrat running to oversee Missouri elections

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Democratic veteran who previously worked on reforms in Ferguson is running for Missouri Secretary of State.

Missouri Democratic Party Executive Director Lauren Gepford lauded Yinka Faleti on Thursday as the party’s nominee to be the state’s top elections official. No other Democratic candidates filed for a chance to unseat Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, a Republican.

“I am energized for the fight ahead and ready to bring to bear my leadership experiences in and since the Army to the office for all Missourians,” Faleti said in a statement.

Faleti said in a statement on his campaign Facebook page: “I’m running for Secretary of State to protect the right to vote for Missouri families, to ensure that your voice will be heard by your elected officials through ballot measures, as well as securing our elections. My entire professional career, from serving in our military to practicing law to my work with nonprofits, I have always sought to be a problem-solver and someone who continually moves further upstream to get things done.

“Help us keep the momentum going.”

Faleti, 43, is a U.S. Army Veteran. He previously served as executive director of Forward Through Ferguson, a nonprofit tasked with putting into place changes proposed by the Ferguson Commission.

Then-Gov. Jay Nixon formed the Ferguson Commission three months after a white police officer fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was black and unarmed, in August 2014. The officer was cleared of wrongdoing, but the shooting highlighted racial issues in Ferguson and elsewhere in the St. Louis region.

Faleti also previously worked in leadership at the United Way of Greater St. Louis.

The election is Nov. 3.

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