Tishaura Jones, Cara Spencer Moving Forward in St. Louis Mayor’s Race

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  • Treasurer Tishaura Jones and Alderwoman Cara Spencer face off against the mayor.

All the fun of “voting for as many names as you approve” is over – now it’s up to you to choose one for Mayor.

St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura Jones and Alderwoman Cara Spencer were the top two entrants in the city’s first area code under the new permissive voting system, preparing a fight of the progressives for next month’s general election.

Jones, who narrowly lost to Mayor Lyda Krewson in 2017, surpassed everyone else in the four-candidate field, which, according to unofficial figures released by the electoral committee, was selected on 57 percent of the ballot papers.

Spencer, who had built a reputation as a watch dog as a representative for Ward 20 in South City, was selected on 46 percent of the ballot.

Both easily defeated the Board of Alderman Lewis Reed, who had a successful fundraiser. They had good polls and seemed on track to be promoted to general when the postal vote put him in second place behind Jones and way ahead of Spencer. But as soon as the total number of personal votes began, the seasoned politician fell out of the running. The businessman Andrew Jones took a distant fourth place.

After Fargo, North Dakota, St. Louis was only the second city in the country to pass a consent vote. Voters could vote for as many candidates as they wanted.

The idea was to select the winners through a more representative process, rather than those who survive overcrowded, fragmented democratic primaries and then cruise in unilateral generals. However, due to its novelty, it was an unpredictable competition that lasted into the April 6 general election. It is unclear how those who voted for Reed, who are seen by many to be a more moderate candidate, will part ways when it comes to Jones versus Spencer.

The winner will succeed Krewson, who announced in November that she would not seek re-election after serving as mayor of the city.

We look forward to tips and feedback. Email the author at [email protected] or follow me on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.

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