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Democratic Mayoral Candidates Debate


By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – St. Louis' three Democratic mayoral candidates taped a debate earlier this evening at the KETC-TV studios.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, school board member Bill Haas and Alderwoman Irene J. Smith participated in the hour-long discussion.

Much of it focused on education. Mayor Slay says the St. Louis Public Schools are improving, and he defended the hiring of a corporate turnaround his allies on the school board hired nearly two years ago.

Bill Haas and Alderwoman Irene Smith both took issue with that. Smith said kids still aren't getting the books and supplies they need, and the district is farther from state accreditation than ever. Haas said as a board member, he's been marginalized by the mayor's supporters.

Irene Smith also talked about bridging the city's racial divide-a major campaign theme. She says the north side has gotten the short end of the stick in terms of economic development and ward redistricting.

Bill Haas also responded to questions about his mental health. He said he is fit for the job of mayor, despite admitting to depression and suicidal thoughts in an online blog.

The debate was sponsored by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, KSDK Channel 5, KETC-TV, and 90.7 KWMU.

To hear a report from KWMU's Matt Sepic about the debate, click here --->



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