Cara Spencer, Lewis Reed also expected to run against incumbent Lyda Krewson
St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura O. Jones stood Wednesday afternoon surrounded by supporters in Ivory Perry Park, in the neighborhood in which she grew up and still lives today.
She was there to talk about an election, but not Tuesday’s, in which she won another term as treasurer with 77.58% of the city’s vote. Instead, she was there to announce her second candidacy to become St. Louis’ next mayor.
“We can do better, I know this because, despite our problems, St. Louis is steeped in potential and ripe with opportunity,” she said, arguing that anyone should be able to succeed in the city regardless of their identity.
“I want to build a city where each and every one of you feels welcome,” Jones say. “I know we can do that together. Am I right?
“That’s why today, after many of you have asked if I would run for mayor again, the answer is simply ‘yes.’ I am running to be the next mayor of the City of St. Louis.”
In her first mayoral candidacy, Jones ran against several Democratic opponents in the primary election. In that primary, Lyda Krewson received 32.04% of the votes compared to Jones’ 30.4%. Lewis Reed came in third with 18.3% of the vote and Antonio French fourth with 15.84% of the vote. Jeffrey L. Boyd won 2.67% of the votes and both Bill Haas and Jimmie Matthews won less than 1% each of the total ballots cast.
During her speech last week, Jones said she was ready to lead St. Louis, and touched on issues that disproportionately affect black and brown people: violent crime, police violence, economic inequality and education.
“We are not a poor city, we are a cheap city,” she said.
Her announcement comes a day after Prop D passed with a decisive margin of 86,097 votes (68.14%) to 40,261 (31.86%). It makes three major changes to the voting process in Missouri: it creates a nonpartisan primary, gives voters the ability to approve (or disapprove) of every candidate on the ballot and allows the two candidates with the most votes in the primary to advance to the general election.
When asked if the passage of Proposition D factored into her decision to run for mayor again, Jones said “absolutely not.”
“While it is a good thing that it passed, I was going to make this decision one way or another,” Jones said.
“I think Prop D is better for government, period. I supported it because it is a way to reduce spoiler candidates … and it’s a way for everyone to participate in their democracy.”
When asked why she announced her candidacy so soon after winning another term as treasurer, and whether she was worried it would appear she only ran for that office so she could then run for mayor, Jones didn’t hesitate to answer.
“No absolutely not. I don’t know too many people that can give up one job while they go find another,” she replied as the crowd around her cheered.
The primary for the mayoral election will be held March 2, 2021, and the general will be held a month later on April 6, 2021.
In addition to Jones, several people have previously (and less formally) said they will run for mayor in 2021 including: incumbent St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson; Cara Spencer, a progressive who has served on the Board of Aldermen since 2015; and Aldermanic President Lewis Reed.