ST. LOUIS, MO. (KTVI) – Fox 2 broke huge election news Tuesday night; it had nothing to do with the Presidential Debates or the race for the U.S. Senate in Missouri.
Fox 2 confirmed 3-term incumbent mayor, Francis Slay, may be in for the fight of his political life; Board of Aldermen President, Lewis Reed, will announce he`s running for mayor.
A news release said only that Reed planned a 'special announcement' Tuesday morning.
It may be telling that the release is from his campaign website, not his office at City Hall.
There are more signs pointing to a Reed mayoral run.
Paperwork`s already turned in and the Slay campaign is already in line at the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners downtown, to get the top spot on the ballot, more than 5 months before the March primary.
'I just stand in line for Francis Slay so he can be first on the ballot,' said the mayor`s spot-holder, Natalie Semar.
It was a sure sign Mayor Slay expected a challenge from Reed, a fellow Democrat who has often been a Slay ally.
Sources say Reed`s staff was at the election board Monday, to be first in line, only to see a Slay campaign worker already there.
A Slay 'stand-in' will have to be there every day during business hours to hold the spot until the first filing day, November 26th.
Gary Stoff/board of elections:
'If they`re going to leave the building on their break, they have to sign out. When they come back in, they have to sign in. If they`re late, if they miss the designated time, then technically, that candidate has lost their place in line,' said Republican, Gary Stoff, of the Board of Election Commissioners.
Reed supporters are also openly pushing him to run, now. Then, there`s the location of his announcement: the Lafayette Square neighborhood. Reed is credited with the leading the redevelopment there when he was the 6th Ward Alderman.
That will be a hallmark of his run for mayor.
'This used to be a dump, a tire dump,' said Alderwoman Kacie Starr Triplett, who succeeded Reed when he became board president in 2007.
'A lot of people are very excited about the possibility of Lewis Reed running for mayor...the ability to bring folks from all through the city to work together for the better of our community. That`s what you find when you come to know president reed and to work with him. I think that`s something that`s desperately needed in room 200 of city hall...I think he`d be an excellent mayor,' Triplett said.
There was no comment from Slay or Reed Tuesday.
Richard Callow of the Slay campaign released a statement hinting at the scrutiny Reed`s about to face.
'[Reed`s] long record at city hall, most of it in strong support of Mayor Slay`s progressive agenda ... will now be scrutinized by opponents and prospective supporters alike. And his city hall staff will have to decide whether they are working for his campaign or for the taxpayers of St. Louis. If they don`t, the Director Of Personnel and the Missouri Ethics Commission will... [Mayor Slay] already has a substantial body of support including the congressman [Lacy Clay] and both incoming state senators...'
There`s a whole lot more where that came from.
Reed will make the announcement at Sqwire`s restaurant, Wednesday morning at 9:00 am.