“Overall, we are in a moment in our entire country, not only in St. Louis, where people are looking at the capacity of Black women to lead in offices like circuit attorney, mayor, Congress,” St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura O. Jones said on Tuesday, August 4, when unofficial election results showed she had defended her citywide office of treasurer and Kimberly Gardner had been reelected as circuit attorney.
“People are taking note of our capacity to lead and showing greater confidence in our ability.”
St. Louis voters showed their confidence in Jones by a margin of 58.5% to 41.5% for her only opponent, Jeffrey Boyd, who keeps his seat as alderman – a margin of almost 12,000 votes. In unofficial results, 76,555 people voted in the city, an almost 40% turnout.
Boyd’s campaign against the incumbent was negative and deceitful. He claimed a number of endorsements that were denied – U.S. Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay being the most prominent – and was hit with a cease-and-desist letter for using in a negative mailer a copyrighted photograph from a positive feature on Jones. That cease-and-desist letter also was sent to Boyd’s campaign manager, the Kelley Group, which also managed campaigns for St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and Steve Stenger, a federal felon and former St. Louis County executive.
“I felt the race was about them trying to stop me from having any future aspiration to higher office,” Jones said of Boyd and the Kelley Group. “They threw everything that they had at me to see if it would stick. At the end of day, voters had the final say, and they said they still trust me to run this office with integrity, transparency and accountability.”
Her “integrity, transparency and accountability” have now been called into question by some 25 Post-Dispatch editorials, which clearly did not sway voters.
“I hope this will finally be the final nail in that coffin and that they can stop now,” she said. “But I know it won’t be.”
A venerable columnist at that same paper has called Jones the “shadow mayor.” What does the shadow mayor have to say to lead our city?
“We’re still not paying attention to the root causes of crime,” she said. “We’re dealing with double-digit poverty in the Black community. We need access to mental health and substance abuse services.”