St. Louis Democratic Committeeman Rasheen Aldridge will likely succeed Bruce Franks in the Missouri House next year.
Democratic committee members who represent the 78th House District selected Aldridge as their nominee for a Nov. 5 special election. He edged out fellow committeeman Marty Murray to fill out the rest of Franks' term for the eastern St. Louis-based seat.
Aldridge, 25, works in the St. Louis Recorder of Deeds office. Like Franks, Aldridge took part in the protests that arose after Michael Brown’s shooting death in Ferguson. Then-Gov. Jay Nixon selected him to be one of the members of the Ferguson Commission, which came up with a host of policy suggestions to overhaul policing, health care and education.
Aldridge was also active in the movement to raise the minimum wage in St. Louis and throughout Missouri. He said he plans to continue Franks’ legacy as an aggressive advocate for the 78th District.
“We plan to not only continue some of what he’s done, but take it to the next level,” Aldridge said. “But I’ll also work for issues I’ve been fighting for currently: workers’ rights, police brutality and crime and criminal justice reform — as well as tackling our education system.”
Because the 78th District is heavily Democratic, Aldridge will be heavily favored to win. He would likely be sworn into office early next year.
After Franks stepped down in early July, Aldridge and Murray emerged as the two candidates to succeed him. Both men defeated incumbent committeemen during the 2016 election cycle and had built strong relationships throughout the city’s Democratic political community.
Aldridge and Murray shook hands after Aldridge was declared the winner.
“This process has been like I’ve been running for office already,” Aldridge said. “Some people call this an inside ballgame among committeepeople. But it feels like me and Marty were actually running for an election trying to convince people — because there’s so much at stake.
“I’m happy that this part is over so we can all work together in unity,” he added. “Marty was phenomenal, and he’s still a phenomenal guy. He’s going to do great work, and I’m looking forward to working with him.”
After congratulating Aldridge, Murray said the process was tough for members of the committee — because many of them didn’t want to choose “between two people that I love.”
"My biggest regret is letting down my many supporters. To them I want to encourage them that I am not going anywhere," Murray said in a statement after the nomination meeting. "The stakes are too important to fade away. My dedication and work to the 78th District will remain consistent."
Aldridge will have to run for the 78th District seat next year if he wants to secure a two-year term after 2020.
Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum
Send questions and comments about this story to email@example.com