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Politically Speaking: Previewing Tuesday's St. Louis elections -- and Reed's third term

St. Louis Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On a special edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio reporters Jason Rosenbaum, Jo Mannies and Rachel Lippmann preview Tuesday’s election in St. Louis.

Seventeen of the Board’s 28 seats will be up for grabs, with some incumbents facing spirited challenges for re-election. The race for the vacant 7th Ward seat, which encompasses areas of downtown St. Louis, is also particularly competitive. Three candidates – Jack Coatar, Chelsea Merta and Samuel Cummings – are vying to succeed longtime Alderwoman Phyllis Young, who resigned last year.

One person facing an easy road to re-election is St. Louis Board of Alderman President Lewis Reed. In 2013 he lost to St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, but Reed had a much more fruitful 2014 when he backed a number of candidates that ended up winning. This election, he’s facing nominal opposition for a third term.

Rosenbaum talked with Reed on Monday. During the interview, Reed said:

  • He was fully expecting Slay to field a candidate to oppose him for re-election. “The mayor had every right to back a candidate,” he said. “And myself or anybody really shouldn’t begrudge him for that.”
  • The appointments of Mary Ellen Ponder as Slay’s chief of staff and Todd Waelterman as the city’s director of operations provide a chance for a fresh start between himself and the mayor.
  • He’s not expecting a bill creating a civilian review board of the St. Louis Police Department to have subpoena power. “That being said, with the Public Safety Committee having the ability to use subpoena power, I think there needs to be a stronger partnership there,” he said.
  • He also expects there to be some public vote in the city to extend bonds going toward the Edward Jones Dome as a way to pay for a new football stadium.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter: @jmannies

Follow Rachel Lippmann on Twitter: @rlippmann

Follow Lewis Reed on Twitter: @presreed

Music: "Untitled" by Interpol, "Obstacle 1" by Interpol and "PDA" by Interpol

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
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.
Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.

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