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Megan Green becomes first woman elected president of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen

From left: Mayor Tishaura Jones and political director Alisha Sonnier watch as Board of Alderman President-elect Megan Green speaks to supporters on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, at the HandleBar in The Grove. Green defeated Alderman Jack Coatar for the seat in the 2022 Midterm.
Rachel Lippman
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St. Louis Public Radio
From left: Mayor Tishaura Jones and political director Alisha Sonnier watch as Board of Alderman President-elect Megan Green speaks to supporters on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, at the HandleBar in The Grove. Green defeated Alderman Jack Coatar for the seat in the 2022 Midterm.

An adjunct professor at Washington University and the current alderwoman for St. Louis’ 15th Ward has won the right to replace Lewis Reed as president of the Board of Aldermen.

Megan Green beat her colleague Jack Coatar on Tuesday, 55% to 45% in final unofficial results. Turnout in the city was 43%. When she is sworn in, likely on Nov. 18, Green will be the first woman to hold that position.

“Tonight, we showed that a campaign run on hope and a campaign run to make a city that works for everyone beats a campaign run on fear,” Green told a jubilant crowd Tuesday night at HandleBar in the Grove. “And that is an outlook for a city, to build a city that works for everyone.”

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Green decided to run after Reed and two other aldermen resigned in June after being charged with bribery for accepting cash and other gifts in exchange for helping a developer get incentives. All three men later pleaded guilty and will be sentenced in December.

The race was Green’s second attempt at a citywide office. She had previously run for board president in 2019, coming in third in a tight Democratic primary. And though nonpartisan, the contest Tuesday represented the ongoing clash between the two wings of the Democratic Party.

It was the second big victory for the party’s more progressive bloc, following Mayor Tishaura Jones’ win last year. Jones was in attendance at Green’s party, and introduced “Madame President” to the crowd.

Green’s victory means that for the first time, the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, which oversees the city’s major financial decisions, will be entirely composed of women. The mayor, the board president and Comptroller Darlene Green are the members.

“We all know that women lead from a different place, and we are about making sure everyone has a chance to succeed and thrive,” Jones said. “We’re bringing our own chairs to this table.”

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Brian Munoz
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St. Louis Public Radio
Alisha Sonnier, political director for Board of Aldermen presidential candidate Megan Green’s campaign, takes a selfie with elected officials and supporters on Nov. 5 during a "Get Out the Vote" rally in the Central West End.

Green will serve the final five months of Reed’s term, for a total of nine Board of Aldermen meetings. In those meetings, she will have to guide members through appropriating the remaining American Rescue Plan Act funds, as well as preparing the board to operate as a body of 14.

Green’s current 15th Ward seat will remain vacant for the rest of the aldermanic session. On Tuesday, she urged her supporters to sign the petitions needed to get her on the ballot for the March primary to retain the seat.

Follow Rachel on Twitter: @rlippmann 

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.

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