St. Louis voter guide: April 2023 general election
After a primary election that saw four St. Louis Board of Aldermen incumbents lose, the end of a political dynasty and a razor-thin margin for second place in the new 9th Ward, candidates and voters alike barely had time to catch their breath.
The general election for a transformed St. Louis Board of Aldermen is April 4 — and early voting is already underway at four locations. The winners will be sworn in on April 18. Those from odd-numbered wards will serve a two-year term to start, and those from even-numbered wards a four-year term to stagger future elections.
In addition to selecting their legislative representatives at City Hall, voters will also decide on a sales tax on marijuana and whether to create a commission to regularly review the city’s charter.
The 32 aldermanic candidates running for election are below. They are listed by the name and in the order they appear on the ballot.
President of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen
- Megan Ellyia Green is running unopposed for a full four-year term as president of the board. She won a special election in November to fill the term of Lewis Reed, who resigned after being indicted on federal corruption charges. Campaign website.
- Anne Schweitzer is the alderwoman of the current 13th Ward. The daughter and granddaughter of past elected officials, she was first elected in 2021 as part of the “Flip the Board” effort to boost progressive policies at City Hall. Campaign website.
- Tony Kirchner is a deputy sheriff and vice president of the 13th Ward Democrats. Campaign website.
- Phill Menendez is a retired police sergeant, the owner of a development company, and an account executive at Blue Line Technologies in Fenton, a facial recognition company. Campaign website.
- Thomas R. Oldenburg is the alderman of the current 16th Ward, and vice president of business development for U.S. Bancorp Community Development Corporation. Campaign website.
- Shane Cohn is unopposed. He is the alderman of the current 25th Ward. Facebook page.
- Bret Narayan is an attorney and the alderman of the current 24th Ward. He is the first person of Asian descent elected to the board. Campaign website.
- Joe Vaccaro is the alderman of the current 23rd Ward and a former small business owner. Twitter.
- Joseph [Joe] Vollmer is the alderman of the current 10th Ward, and the owner of Milo’s Bocce Garden on the Hill. He served as acting president of the Board of Aldermen following Lewis Reed’s indictment and resignation. Campaign website.
- Helen Petty is a stylist and owner of ChopShop, a collective of independent beauty professionals in the Grove. Campaign website.
- Daniela Velazquez is a public relations consultant. Campaign website.
- Jennifer Florida is a real estate agent, and previously served the city as alderwoman of the old 15th Ward and as recorder of deeds. Campaign website
- Alisha Sonnier is a mental health advocate with Cigna, and a member of the Board of Education for the St. Louis Public Schools. Campaign website.
- J.P. Mitchom is the director of equity and inclusion at St. Louis Priory School. Campaign website.
- Cara Spencer is the alderwoman of the current 20th Ward and is formerly the executive director of the Consumers Council of Missouri. Campaign website.
- Kenneth A. [Ken] Ortmann is a former alderman of the current 9th Ward. His family owns the Cat's Meow, a bar in Soulard. Campaign website.
- Tina [Sweet-T] Pihl is the alderwoman of the current 17th Ward. She earned a spot in the general election by eight votes. Campaign website.
- Michael Browning is a senior grant specialist for Washington University School of Medicine. Campaign website.
- Shameem Clark Hubbard is the alderwoman of the current 26th Ward. Facebook page.
- Emmet L. Coleman is a real estate agent, developer and co-owner of a construction company. Campaign website.
- Laura Keys is the alderwoman of the current 21st Ward. She replaced John Collins-Muhamad, who resigned and was later indicted on corruption charges in 2022. Facebook page.
- Carla [Coffee] Wright has worked as a real estate investor, a recruiter for pharmaceutical companies, a substitute teacher and an organizer. She has also run for several federal offices. Facebook page.
- Tashara T. Earl is a tech entrepreneur. Campaign website.
- Sharon Tyus is an attorney and the alderwoman of the current 1st Ward. City website.
- Norma J. Walker is the alderwoman of the current 22nd Ward, and the owner of a trucking company and liquor store. She replaced Jeffrey Boyd, who resigned after being indicted in a corruption scandal. Twitter.
- Pamela Boyd is the alderwoman of the current 27th Ward. Campaign website.
- Rasheen Aldridge is the Democratic state representative of the 78th District. Campaign website.
- Ebony Washington is a real estate agent. Facebook page.
St. Louis Public Schools Board of Education
- Sadie Weiss is the executive director of the UMSL Bridge Program and a former Peace Corps volunteer. Campaign website.
- Tracy E. Hykes is a sheet metal worker. (He doesn't have an online presence.)
- Dr. J.L. [Coach Win] Quinones is a pastor, coach, and previous Board of Education candidate. Ballotpedia page.
St. Louis Community College Trustee
- Pam Ross is a current trustee, and the chief of staff to former Board President Jim Shrewsbury. Facebook page.
- Nicole Robinson is the vice president of public policy and community solutions for developer McCormack Baron Companies. Campaign website.
Proposition C would create a nine-member commission to conduct a regular review of the city’s charter. It requires a 60% majority to pass
A proposition to fund the DeBaliviere Place Special Business District until 2034 by renewing a $.85 per $100 of value property tax. It requires a simple majority of district residents to pass.
Proposition M would allow the city to impose an additional 3% sales tax on recreational marijuana sales. It requires a simple majority to pass.
Similar propositions appear on ballots in the St. Louis, Rolla and Hannibal regions. Here's a list of counties and municipalities where residents will vote on the measures:
- St. Louis County: county-wide vote, Ballwin, Berkeley, Brentwood, Bridgeton, Charlack, Clayton, Crestwood, Creve Coeur, Des Peres, Ellisvile, Ferguson, Flordell Hills, Florissant, Frontenac, Glendale, Hazelwood, Kirkwood, Manchester, Maryland Heights, Normandy, Northwoods, Oakland, Olivette, Overland, Pacific, Richmond Heights, Rock Hill, Shrewsbury, St. Ann, Sunset Hills, University City, Valley Park, Velda City, Warson Woods and Webster Groves
- St. Charles County: county-wide vote, Cottleville, Lake St. Louis, O'Fallon, St. Peters and Wentzville
- Jefferson County: county-wide vote, Festus, Herculaneum, Hillsboro, Pevely
- Franklin County: county-wide vote, Gerald, Pacific, St. Clair, Union and Washington
- Marion County: county-wide vote: Monroe City, Palmyra and Hannibal
Phelps County: county-wide vote