ST. LOUIS – St. Louis voters have decided either Tishaura Jones or Cara Spencer will be the successor to Lyda Krewson, the city’s first woman mayor.
Jones appeared on nearly 57% of the ballots cast and Spencer finished second, appearing on just over 46% of the ballots. Reed and Andrew Jones finished third and fourth with 38.5% and 14.4%, respectively.
Tuesday’s municipal primary was the first election under the new non-partisan primary, allowing voters to select more than one candidate on their ballot. This new rule comes after Proposition D passed last year.
As the top two vote-getters, Jones and Spencer advance to the April 6 runoff to determine Krewson’s successor.
Krewson, who is serving only one term in office, did not endorse anyone in the race. Her spokesperson said she will do whatever she can to help the new mayor succeed.
Jones, 48, has been the St. Louis Treasurer since 2013. She narrowly lost an effort to become mayor four years ago.
In her post-primary victory speech, Jones promised a campaign about people and not special interests.
“St. Louis is not poor,” she said. “St. Louis is cheap.”
Jones is well-known in St. Louis politics. Her father was once the city comptroller. She’s served as a state representative and believes her experience as treasurer sets her apart from other candidates.
“I’m the only candidate with the executive experience of turning a platform into a reality, the management experience of leading a staff of hundreds and a budget of millions of dollars,” she said.
Jones said one of her biggest assets is being able to understand issues through the eyes of a single parent.
“I make a lot of my decisions through that prism of being a mom,” she said.
Spencer, 42, was elected alderwoman in the 20th Ward in 2015 and was re-elected in 2019. At present, she chairs the board’s Health & Humans Services Committee.
She fought the recent push to privatize St. Louis-Lambert International Airport and, in 2015, co-developed a “mow-to-own” initiative, allowing residents to acquire blighted neighboring properties by taking care of those vacant yards for a year.
During her victory speech Tuesday night, Spencer said her campaign had started from scratch and she made a name for herself, which St. Louisans seemed to like.
If elected, Spencer plans to provide more vaccines in a quick manner, focus on improving St. Louis’ economy, and implement a 10-step crime intervention plan to address violent crime and homicides in the city.