A St. Louis Voter's Guide To The March 5 Primary
St. Louis voters will go to the polls Tuesday to pick the next president of the Board of Aldermen.
And residents of even-numbered wards will effectively elect who will represent them at City Hall in the Democratic primary.
At least three new aldermen will be elected, and many more could join them as part of a rapid turnover that began in 2015. That could mark a shift in a whole host of important policy areas, including development incentives, budgeting and privatization of St. Louis-Lambert International Airport.
In addition, this could be the last election for aldermen in the city. If voters approve Better Together’s proposal to consolidate St. Louis and St. Louis County in November 2020, local elected governments, including the Board of Aldermen, will be frozen as they are before a district council is elected in 2023.
President of the Board of Aldermen
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There are three open seats this year, in the 18th, 24th and 26th wards. Two incumbents — Tom Oldenburg, D-16th Ward, and Heather Navarro, D-28th Ward, are unopposed in the Democratic primary, as is Michael Hebron, on the Republican side in the 6th Ward. No other Republicans are running. (Odd wards were up in 2017.)
2nd Ward: Incumbent Lisa Middlebrook is running for a full term in the city’s farthest north ward against Thomas Bradley, a barber and youth football coach. Middlebrook won a special election in November 2017 to replace Dionne Flowers, who resigned in August 2017 to become the city’s register, or main record keeper.
4th Ward: Incumbent Sam Moore, who’s been in office since 2007, faces three opponents in a contest to represent one of the poorest and highest-crime wards in the city. Robert Dillard, an activist, is one of three people who sued after being fired by Recorder of Deeds Michael Butler. Leroy Carter has been the 4th Ward Democratic committeeman since 2016 — he replaced Edward McFowland, who has a background in housing development.
6th Ward: Christine Ingrassia is going for a second full term in office in this south-central ward, which covers neighborhoods as varied as Compton Heights and the Clinton-Peabody housing complex. She faces Debra Carnahan, an attorney and the wife of former U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan; rapper and activist Cedric Redmon, who goes by C-Sharp; and Henry Gray, the president of the Gate District East Association.
8th Ward: Annie Rice won an abbreviated term in this ward as an independent in 2018. She’s running for a full term as a Democrat to represent parts of Shaw, Tower Grove East and Southwest Garden. She’s facing a challenge from Emmett Coleman, who’s been active in various neighborhood groups in Shaw.
10th Ward: Incumbent Joe Vollmer didn’t have a challenger in his last three elections. This year, he’s up against Patrick Hickey, a pipefitter and a student at UMSL. The ward also includes parts of North Hampton, Southwest Garden, and Tower Grove South.
12th Ward: Larry Arnowitz ousted the last Republican from the board in 2011 and faced token opposition in 2015. He’s got two opponents this year — Derrick Neuner, an athletic trainer at St. Luke’s Hospital and Cassandra DeClue, the associate office manager for her family’s glass company in Princeton Heights.
14th Ward: Carol Howard has not had an opponent since she took over the seat from Stephen Gregali in 2010. This year, she’s facing Tony Pecinovsky, the president of the Workers' Education Society. The ward includes parts of Dutchtown and Bevo.
18th Ward: Five candidates are vying to fill a seat in this ward, which straddles Delmar north of the Central West End, that’s been represented by a member of the Kennedy family since the late 1960s. Jesse Todd, the ward’s Democratic committeeman for 23 years, has incumbent Terry Kennedy’s endorsement. Also on the ballot are Judith Arnold, an urban planner; the Rev. Darryl Gray, an activist and political organizer; Jeffrey Hill, an activist who also goes by the name Dhoruba Shakur; and social worker Elmer Otey.
20th Ward: Cara Spencer started the recent turnover at the board when she knocked off 20-year incumbent Craig Schmid by 90 votes in 2015. This election, she’s facing Sunni Hutton, who is on leave from her post as the community development manager at the Dutchtown South Community Corporation.
22nd Ward: Incumbent Jeffrey Boyd, who’s running for a fifth term, will be second in seniority if he wins re-election. He’s facing a challenge from Tonya Finley-McCaw, who has a long history of political involvement in the 5th Ward where she used to live.
24th Ward: There are five Democrats looking to replace Scott Ogilvie in this ward south of Forest Park. The Democratic committeepeople — Danny Rastogi-Sample, a teacher, and Teri Powers, a psychotherapist and advocate for individuals with mental illness — are both running. So is Bret Narayan, an attorney; Lorie Cavin, who helped organize a 2005 recall of then-alderman Tom Bauer; and Bauer, who wants his old job back.
26th Ward: This seat, on the western edge of the city north of Forest Park, unexpectedly opened up when Frank Williamson resigned and took a job with treasurer Tishaura Jones’ office. Three candidates are hoping to replace him: Leata Price-Land, an event planner; Shameem Clark Hubbard, the ward’s former Democratic committeewoman; and Jake Banton, an architect.
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