Dana Kelly and two others have fallen short of the 1,170 signatures from registered voters necessary to run for St. Louis mayor in the upcoming primary election.
Kelly needed to turn in more than 500 additional signatures by the end of business Monday in order to be on the primary ballot, according to Benjamin Borgmeyer, Board of Elections Democratic director. Monday was the last day a person could file to run for mayor in the primary election.
Kelly said on Wednesday, Dec. 30, that she had 11 canvassers collecting signatures and aimed to turn in 800 additional signatures Monday. Borgmeyer confirmed at the end of the day Tuesday that she did not meet the signature requirement.
“I know that we registered a lot of people to vote when we were getting the signatures,” she said. “And so because there isn’t a precedent, and because there aren’t any policies for this brand new requirement, we can expect some snags. So, it's okay, I’ll work through it, it's not a big deal. I was very surprised at that number — very surprised — but we can make sure to make it happen this weekend,” she said before Tuesday’s final count.
Kelly also noted that she had a late start on gathering signatures because she was quarantined after testing positive with the coronavirus from the end of October to the beginning of December. She said despite her being on the sideline, her crew of canvassers was able to collect around 900 signatures during that time.
Kelly filed for mayoral candidacy on Tuesday, Dec. 29.
Because the other two candidates who fell short of signatures, restaurant owner Lassaad Jeliti and barber shop owner Keith Jefferson, filed on the last day to do so there is no window for them to collect more signatures and turn them in.
Borgmeyer noted last month that various reasons could account for signature shortages: a signature belongs to someone who isn’t a registered voter, a signature doesn’t match the voter’s on file, and lines on the petition form are left blank.
“So with this nonpartisan filing, there are a requisite number of signatures for the petition for candidacy,” Borgmeyer said. “This is because in the city code there is a provision for people running as independents to collect signatures and the nonpartisan primary triggers this part of the code for every candidate.”
Kelly was the second candidate to fall short of petition signatures for mayoral candidacy. City Treasurer Tishaura Jones initiallyfell short by 274 signatures, but collected more andturned in the additional signatures a little more than a week later.
Borgmeyer confirmed Andrew Jones Jr., who filed Dec. 23, met the signature requirement and is on the primary ballot.
In addition to Andrew Jones and Tishaura Jones, who are not related, Aldermanic President Lewis Reed and Alderwoman Cara Spencer are also on the ballot for mayor.
Mayor Lyda Krewson announced in November she would not run for re-election.
The primary election will be held March 2 and the general election will be held April 6.
This election will look different from those in the past because of the passage of Proposition D in the city on Nov 3. Voters should expect primary ballots to be nonpartisan; they will be asked to choose as many candidates as they approve of in each race, regardless of party affiliation.
The two candidates with the most votes will then face off in the general election, also regardless of party affiliation. Proposition D affects elections for mayor, comptroller, Board of Alderman president and aldermen.