A two-hour debate about the root causes of crime and disparities in the system helped some St. Louis voters better understand the Democratic candidates for circuit attorney.
Mary Pat Carl, Kimberly Gardner, Patrick Hamacher and Steve Harmon gathered Saturday for the forum, sponsored by Decarcerate St. Louis.
"St. Louis voters being awake and aware and knowing what the issues are and the stances of the various candidates, I think that's good information to have," said Basmin Nadra, an activist from south St. Louis. She said the forum helped her narrow the field, even though something was missing from the discussion.
"I found it astounding that no one had the courage to address white privilege as being the cause for racial disparities," she said.
Beth Weeks did not find the forum as helpful. She was disappointed about the candidate’s stances on the death penalty.
"I was really looking for someone to just state no, I’m against it," she said. "You just heard the qualification that perhaps there are instances where it is suitable."
Weeks and others have about a month and a half to decide on who to vote for. The winner of the August primary is a strong favorite to win the general election in November.
Starting on Monday, St. Louis Public Radio will roll out Politically Speaking podcasts with each of the Democratic candidates.
Follow Rachel Lippmann on Twitter: @rlippmann