Tuesday, March 7 is the St. Louis municipal primary election. Voters will be called to select the main candidates for St. Louis mayor and aldermanic positions, as well as the future of regulating payday loan businesses in the city.
Mayor Francis Slay, the longest-serving mayor in the city’s history, declined to run for a fifth term in office. Term limits are not in effect for the position.
For nearly seven decades, every mayor of St. Louis has been a Democrat, meaning the winner of Tuesday’s Democratic primary will likely be the next mayor. Mayor Aloys P. Kaufmann was the last Republican to hold the office, from 1943 to 1949.
Seven men and women have declared for the Democratic nomination and three men on the Republican side. The Libertarian and Green parties each have one person running in the primary. Meanwhile, Kacey Cordes and Rev. Larry Rice have pledged to run in the general election as independent candidates.
In addition to the mayoral and aldermanic primaries, Proposition S puts the matter of regulating payday loan companies in the city. If approved, the law would require such businesses to post what they charge in interest and fees, increase the permit fee for payday loan companies, and use those new funds to create a commissioner position to oversee the enforcement of all regulations on said businesses.
St. Louis Elections Director Gary Stoff says voting seems to be steady. Stoff says they are predicting voter turnout to be 30 to 35 percent and he believes it’s going to hit that prediction. Voter turnout for a typical municipal primary is much less, at only about 19%.
Stoff says usually it’s lower because there aren’t as many candidates running for mayor and usually there is an incumbent.