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Koster, Kander and Zweifel endorse Slay's bid for fourth mayoral term

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 22, 2012 - St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, who is seeking an unprecedented fourth term, has been spending the last few days rolling out on Twitter a series of major endorsements from top fellow Democrats and labor groups.

The newest additions to the list include: Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, state Treasurer Clint Zweifel and Secretary of State-elect Jason Kander.

They join earlier endorsements from St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay Jr. and state Sen.-elect Jamilah Nasheed.

The newest labor backers: the local chapters of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; the Joint Council of Teamsters and the United Federation of Commercial Workers.

The early rollout appears aimed, in part, at shifting political and public attention away from the just-over Nov. 6 election and toward this spring’s city contests, which will be headlined by Slay’s March primary fight with Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed.

Reed announced his candidacy about six weeks ago, but so far has kept a low political profile.

Slay’s rollouts will likely put more pressure on Reed, by making clear that most of the Democratic establishment – white and black -- is behind Slay.  The labor support also will most likely be accompanied by financial donations, which will help Slay expand his financial edge.

The mayor’s decision to make public his endorsement list via Twitter is in keeping with Slay’s social-media preferences.  Using that medium means, though, that Slay is foregoing the usual news releases that contain paragraphs of effusive praise from the aforementioned big names.

Aside from announcing his backers via Twitter, Slay has done the same with his new campaign hires. They include: Georgia Dubson, Sable Jones and Musawir Karim.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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