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Volunteers – including her dad – fuel Cara Spencer’s campaign

BENTON PARK WEST – One of Cara Spencer’s most faithful volunteers in her race for mayor may be Bob Spencer of Ballwin.

“I’m volunteering because I’m her dad,” Bob Spencer said Saturday morning, as he helped out at his daughter’s campaign office at 3359 Jefferson Avenue. “I don’t have a choice.”

Then, like any supportive father, Bob Spencer spoke about how proud he is of his daughter and her campaign for mayor.

“Cara’s an amazing person. I pinch myself every time I look at her, because I don’t know where this came from,” Bob Spencer said.

The candidate’s father spoke on an especially busy day, as volunteers rushed in to her headquarters to grab campaign literature and then ran out again to distribute them at houses.

One of those volunteers was David Dwars, an architect who lives in St. Louis Hills.

Dwars was a Facebook friend of Cara Spencer when he read her announcements. He decided to support her.

“I met Cara through a friend of mine, probably five years ago, and I thought she was a good person,” he said. He believes in what she stands for, he explained.   

Dwars also likes the fact that Spencer is a math major and uses data-driven analytics to solve problems in the city.

“The city’s budget is very limited, and I think analyzing problems using data allows targeted solutions and the most effective way to spend our money,” he said.

This was Dwars’ third week knocking on doors. “I basically encourage people to vote. And I ask him to support Cara; and if asked why, I explain to him just like I explained to you the reasons that I believe in her,” he said.

The candidate herself said she wasn’t tired, even though she’s kept a fast pace since she announced her candidacy in January 2020.

“I feel great energy tied up. It’s a great day to two great days to get out there and talk to voters,” she said. 

She’s also energized by the fact that the latest poll said she was neck and neck against city Treasurer Tishaura Jones. “Got it within statistical error,” she said.

Spencer doesn’t see a change in the major concerns.

Crime is still a major issue, she said, as is spending for reopening after COVID-19, basic general functions of the city and its racial disparities.   

“We’ve been talking about issues,” Spencer said. “There’s obviously been some mudslinging on the side. I know that I’m looking forward to getting through this election and coming back and getting to work.”

She already has some definite ideas about what to do first as mayor.

“We’ve talked a lot about the first 100 days,” Spencer said. “Right off the bat, we’re going to start to address violence. We’re going to make sure that the COVID relief funds are in the hands of those who need to pay their rent and mortgage, making sure we don’t see a major housing disruption. And we’re going to make sure that the vaccines are being distributed equitably”

 It’s a big agenda, but first Spencer has to be elected; and to do that, she and all her supporters will be working as hard as they can to get out every vote.

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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