Ella Jones | St. Louis Public Radio

Ella Jones

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles takes the oath of office at Ferguson City Hall Tuesday night.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles and Councilwoman Ella Jones made something perfectly clear Tuesday night: The city’s mayoral election is over, and there’s no schism between the two elected officials.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles speaks to reporters in February 2016 after a City Council vote to amend the Department of Justice consent decree instead of approving it outright.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

In an apparent vote of confidence, Ferguson Mayor James Knowles won re-election Tuesday over City Council member Ella Jones.

Knowles, who has been the face of the municipality since Michael Brown’s fatal shooting in 2014 by an officer thrust it and its racial divisions into the international spotlight, barely missed having to face a recall election in 2015. He beat Jones, who would have been the city’s first African-American mayor; unofficial results show the vote was 2,133 to 1,594.

Voters cast electronic ballots at Central Baptist Church in St. Louis on Nov. 8, 2016.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s Election Day in the St. Louis region, where voters will decide on a number of high-stakes issues.

Polls are open in Missouri and Illinois from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Election officials in St. Louis and St. Louis County said no problems had been reported at polling stations by midday, and that turnout was light.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles chats with a supporter ahead of canvassing; Councilwoman Ella Jones greets people at a restaurant. On Monday, March 27, Knowles and Jones will participate in a mayoral forum ahead of the April 4 election.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On Wednesday's St. Louis on the Air we aired highlights of the Ferguson Mayoral Forum held earlier this week at the Ferguson Community Center. Incumbent Mayor James Knowles III and Councilwoman Ella Jones are on the ballot for the April 4 nonpartisan election in Ferguson and both participated.

The event was sponsored by St. Louis on the Air and The Center for Social Empowerment.

Residents and activists pressure Ferguson's City Council members to agree to the Department of Justice's proposed consent decree during a public forum on the decree in March of 2016.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Numerous challenges await Ferguson’s next mayor, including a tight budget, frayed race relations and an understaffed police department. But the winner of April 4 contest will also face a less tangible quandary: repairing the city’s tattered image.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles is up for re-election for the first time since then-police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown in August 2014, an event that placed the north St. Louis County municipality in the international spotlight.

Ferguson City Councilmembers Brian Fletcher, Ella Jones and Wesley Bell take their oaths of office on Tuesday.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

Right after Ella James, Wesley Bell and Brian Fletcher were sworn in as new members of the Ferguson City Council, one of the legislative body’s veteran members provided some advice — both for his new colleagues and the people of Ferguson. 

After the aftermath of Michael Brown’s death brought nationwide attention and scrutiny on the St. Louis County suburb, Councilman Dwayne James implored the new council members and the general public to be accountable. 

Ella Jones, center, looks up at the television during last week's election in Ferguson. Jones easily won a city council race in a suburb that's been rocked by strife and discord.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

When Ella Jones walked into Drake’s Place last Tuesday night, her diverse group of supporters was ready for a celebration.

As her well-wishers munched on tiny sandwiches, the news got better. Jones trounced three other opponents to win a seat on the Ferguson City Council. It was a victory Jones chalked up to a lot of hard work – and a cogent strategy.

A woman casts her vote on election day in Ferguson on April 7, 2015.
Bill Greenblatt I UPI

Ferguson residents voted to add two African Americans to the city council, a move that diversifies an elected body that was overwhelmingly white in a city with a majority black population.