For the first time in St. Louis history, two women will compete head-to-head to be the city’s mayor.
Treasurer Tishaura Jones and Alderwoman Cara Spencer, D-20th Ward, were the top two vote-getters in Tuesday’s primary. Jones received 25,374 votes and Spencer got 20,649. It was the first in which voters could pick as many candidates as they wanted in the primary under a new system approved last year. Turnout was about 22%.
Lewis Reed, President of the Board of Aldermen, was third, with 17,162 votes. Utility executive Andrew Jones was a distant fourth with 6,422.
Spencer’s advancement was a bit of a surprise, as she had no citywide experience and had been lagging behind in polling. But she was likely helped by strong fundraising numbers, which enabled her to outspend her opponents in the last weeks of the election.
The two women are similar enough policy-wise that Spencer endorsed Jones as a second choice for her supporters during a debate last month.
Jones received the backing of national progressive politicians and organizations. And she added that her experience in citywide offices makes her the better choice.
Both Spencer and Tishaura Jones tout fighting crime with a holistic approach.
They would also push to close the north St. Louis jail known as the Workhouse, once the safety and health of inmates at the Criminal Justice Center downtown is assured.
They both are skeptical of the need to privatize operations at St. Louis-Lambert International Airport.
The two primary finalists will face off April 6 in the general election to replace Mayor Lyda Krewson, who decided not to seek a second term.
All 15 incumbent aldermen running for re-election will get a chance to keep their seats in April. In addition to the regularly-scheduled elections for the odd wards, there were elections in the 4th and 12th wards to fill the remainder of terms of aldermen who left office.
Comptroller Darlene Green is unopposed in her bid for a seventh full term in the office.
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