St. Louis Democratic primary round-up: Incumbents win, one upset

ST. LOUIS – On Tuesday, Mar. 3, voters in twelve wards went to the polls for this highly anticipated Democratic primary. In this heavily blue city, this election is viewed as the de facto general election (to be held Apr. 7). As some residents put it, it’s “the only election that matters.”

As polls closed around 10:00 pm, most incumbents easily defeated their opponents, with only one surprise upset coming out of the 20th Ward.

Aldermanic President Lewis Reed won re-election against opponent Jimmy Matthews in the only city-wide race on the ballot. Reed, who is expected to challenge Francis Slay in the 2017 mayoral elections, joined with supporters of Ward 15 Alderman Megan Green at Mangia Italiano in St. Louis’ South City. Green, who was first elected in October 2014, soundly defeated her opponent Beth Braznell, who has come under community heat after launching a vicious negative ad campaign against Green in a last-minute effort to gain votes.

In response to her opponent’s questionable tactics, Green stated, “Clearly, my opponent was ill-informed and did not realize that a majority of the voters in the 15th Ward were some of the Ferguson activists she labelled as ‘outside agitators’ in her campaign literature.”

Ward 20 Alderman Craig Schmid, who has been on the Board of Aldermen since 1995, was defeated by Cara Spencer, who campaigned on bringing a younger, fresher face to the board. “I was not expecting this,” was Spencer’s shocked reply to her supporters gathered at Yaqui’s pizzeria on Cherokee Street.

“I am so humbled by all of you who came out to help this campaign,” she continued. “When I was out knocking on doors, so many people I met just thanked me for running. People are just so excited to see real change and I can’t wait to get that change started.”

Elsewhere, the other 10 contested incumbent aldermen had easy victories. Neither Republican or Green parties had city primaries, and currently no Republican serves on the Board of Aldermen.

Below are the election results:

President of the Board of Aldermen

*LEWIS REED, 12,836, 82.5 percent

Jimmie Matthews, 2,727, 17.5 percent

Ward 2

*DIONNE FLOWERS, 394, 44.5 percent

Joyce M. Hall, 58, 6.6 percent

Jasmine K. Turnage, 389, 43.9 percent

Winfield L. Scott, 45, 5.1 percent

Ward 4

*SAM MOORE, 505, 66.5 percent

Arneatrice Myers, 254, 33.5 percent

Ward 7

JACK COATAR, 593, 57.3 percent

Chelsea Merta, 252, 24.4 percent

Samuel Cummings, 190, 18.4 percent

Ward 8

*STEVE CONWAY, 843, 53.1 percent

Kevin McKinney, 744, 46.9 percent

Ward 12

*LARRY ARNOWITZ, 665, 72.6 percent

Rafael Hernandez, 251, 27.4 percent

Ward 15

*MEGAN GREEN, 932, 71.5 percent

Elizabeth Braznell, 372, 28.5 percent

Ward 20

*Craig Schmid, 270, 36.1 percent

CARA M. SPENCER, 360, 48.1 percent

David Gaither, 119, 15.9 percent

Ward 22

*JEFFREY BOYD, 420, 77.1 percent

Angela Newsom, 121, 22.2 percent

Ward 24

*SCOTT OGILVIE, 777, 74.5 percent

Tom Bauer, 266, 25.5 percent

Ward 26

*FRANK WILLIAMSON, 556, 54.8 percent

Rodney V. Norman, 459, 45.2 percent

Ward 28

*LYDA KREWSON, 894, 92.1 percent

Bill Haas, 77, 8.0 percent

* incumbent

Photo: AP


Al Neal
Al Neal

Al Neal is a sports columnist for People’s World writing on politics, labor relations, and the general rabble-rousing in professional sports. He spent a decade working in the trade union movement with various locals across the country and currently serves as Dir. of Education and Advocacy for the St. Louis Workers’ Education Society. A member of the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Sports Media Association, National Society for Newspaper Columnists and the NewsGuild, Neal’s work and reporting has been featured in the Labor-TribuneBuzzfeed NewsRussia Today (RT)Sputnik News Wire, and Getty Images. More words at GrandStand Central.