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Secretary of State Candidate Yinka Faleti Concedes, But Says Missouri Politics Will Change

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Trevor Hook
/
KBIA

Democratic candidate for Missouri Secretary of State Yinka Faleti says despite his loss in last night’s election, he plans to continue to work to make the state more equitable. He highlighted the fact that the state has never elected a person of color to statewide office, and challenged voters to make change.

Faleti, who immigrated with his family from Nigeria as a child, spoke at the Tiger Hotel last night, conceding to Republican incumbent Jay Ashcroft who won re-election to the office he’s held since 2017.

In a room filled with campaign staff and media members, Faleti thanked family, friends and supporters for helping his run for office happen.

He said that change is on the way for Missouri politics in the future.

“For nearly 200 years, this state has never elected a woman, governor,” Faleti said. “In nearly 200 years, a person of my hue or any person of color has never been elected to a statewide office.”

Faleti is an attorney and veteran. He also headed Forward Through Ferguson before stepping away from the position to run for office.

According to its website, Forward Through Ferguson is a nonprofit organization that “centers impacted communities and mobilizes accountable bodies to advance racially equitable systems and policies” in the St. Louis region.

The Ferguson Commission led to the creation of Forward Through Ferguson, in response to protests following the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in 2014. 

Faleti said that failing in the bid for Missouri Secretary of State is not the end of the journey, but a pause on the fight for an inclusive and equitable Missouri.