ST. LOUIS (AP) — Most of St. Louis’ Black aldermen say they oppose a Nov. 3 ballot proposal that would make future elections for mayor, alderman and other city offices nonpartisan.
The aldermanic African American caucus said in a statement that Proposition D would result “in the elimination of the Democratic Party in the city.”
The caucus also criticized another part of the proposal that would allow residents in the city’s March primaries to vote for more than one candidate at the same time. The two top vote-getters would move on to the April general election.
“It’s essentially a scheme to disconnect elections from issues and allow candidates with marginal support from voters to win elections. Purely put, it is all about political power, not about what is best for ours wards and communities.”
The statement continues: “Proposition D does not fix election problems. Proposition D does not increase voter turnout. Proposition D is supported by outside interest groups.”
Supporters of the plan say it would bring St. Louis in line with other Missouri municipalities and many in other states that have candidates run without party labels.
Because St. Louis is heavily Democratic, the Democratic primary has been the de facto general election for many decades.
The Black caucus is made up of 10 of the 11 African Americans who represent ward seats on the Board of Aldermen. The caucus’ chairman is Alderman Jeffrey Boyd, 22nd Ward, with Vice-Chairman Marlene David, 19th Ward.
First Ward Alderwoman Sharon Tyus, who is Black, is not a member of the caucus.