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Four candidates to vie for mayor; three others fall short

ST. LOUIS – Following the close of filing Monday, three local political veterans and at least one newcomer will compete in the battle for mayor in the March 2 primary for mayor.

Board of Aldermen President Lewis E. Reed, 20th Ward Alderwoman Cara M. Spencer and City Treasurer Tishaura O. Jones will face businessman Andrew M. Jones Jr.

Three others hope to join the mayoral contest, but they lacked enough signatures to get their names on the ballot. A city ordinance requires the candidates to collect signatures equal to at least 2 percent of the vote for mayor in the last election, or 1,170 votes.

One of the three additional hopefuls, restaurant owner Dana Kelly, turned in more petitions on Monday. They will be counted on Tuesday, and if the total is enough, she also will be a candidate in the primary. 

The two others are barber shop owner Keith E. Jefferson and restaurant owner Lasaad M. Jeliti. 

Andrew M. Jones Jr.
Mayor Lyda Krewson announced in November that she wouldn’t run for another term.

The local elections in March and April will be the first of the new system approved by voters under Proposition D in the Nov. 3 election.

Under  the new “approval voting” method, those running for mayor, board of aldermen president, comptroller and aldermen will no longer run under a party but as nonpartisan candidates. People can vote for as many candidates as they like in the initial round, and the top two will advance to a runoff in the April 6 general election. 

Proponents say that eliminates the possibility that the final winner of the March Democratic primary will get much less than a majority. Without any Republican opposition, winners of the March primaries traditionally easily win in the April general election.

Longtime incumbent Comptroller Darlene Green also filed for re-election to her job.

Aldermanic seats are up for election in 14 odd-numbered wards. Also, two alderwomen who won special elections to fill vacancies in even-numbered wards last year are up for election They are 4th Ward Alderwoman Dwinderlin Evans and 12th Ward Alderwoman Vicky L. Grass.

Altogether, 40 people are running for alderman.

In all 16 but one aldermanic race, the incumbent is running. The exception is 17th Ward Alderman Joseph Roddy, who did not file for another term. Three incumbents – Sarah W. Martin, 11th Ward; Joseph Vaccaro, 23rd Ward; and Shane Cohn, 25th Ward – are unopposed.

Those filing for aldermen were:

  • Ward 1, Yolanda Brown opposes incumbent Alderwoman Sharon Tyus and Loren G. Watt
  • Ward 3, Herdosia K. Bentum faces Incumbent Alderman Brandon M. Frazier-Bosley
  • Ward 4, incumbent Alderwoman Dwinderlin Evans is opposed by Leroy Carter and Edward McFowland
  • Ward 5, James A. Page Jr. is running against incumbent Alderwoman Tammika Hubbard
  • Ward 7, incumbent Alderman John L. “Jack” Coatar faces Shedrick R. Kelley
  • Ward 9, incumbent Daniel R. Guenther is challenged by former Alderman Kenneth A. Ortmann
  • Ward 11, incumbent Alderwoman Sarah W. Martin is unopposed
  • Ward 12, incumbent Vicky L. Grass opposes William Z. Stephens and John L. Rusch
  • Ward 13, incumbent Alderwoman Elizabeth (Beth) M. Murphy is running against Anne M. Schweitzer
  • Ward 15 incumbent Alderwoman Megan Ellyia Green is challenged by Alexander J. Gremp and former Alderwoman Jennifer A. Florida
  • Ward 17, Michelle Sherod opposes Kaleena Menke, Tiny T. Pihl and Donald DeVivo, who has run for various offices in the past on the Green Party ticket
  • Ward 19, incumbent Marlene E. Davis is running against Cleo Williams Sr.
  • Ward 21, Barbara A. Lane is opposed by Tisharwa Z. Masimba, incumbent Alderman John M. Collins-Muhammad, Melinda L. Long, Tavon T. Brooks and Laura M. Keys
  • Ward 23, incumbent Alderman Joseph A. Vaccaro Jr. is unopposed
  • Ward 25, incumbent Alderman Shane P. Cohn is unopposed
  • Ward 27, incumbent Alderwoman Pamela R. Boyd is running against Willie E. Carter and Mary Ann Jackson

Jim Merkel

southsidemerkel@gmail.com Born and raised in St. Louis, 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 four books about the Gateway City published by Reedy Press. He and his wife, Lorraine, live in the Bevo Mill neighborhood of south St. Louis. For more about Jim, visit www.jimmerkelthewriter.com.

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