Reed wins primary race for president of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen


ST. LOUIS BOARD OF ALDERMEN President Lewis Reed speaks with reporters following his victory March 5 in the St. Louis City primary election. Reed retained his seat with 35.6 percent of the vote, followed by State Senator Jamilah Nasheed with 31.6 percent and 15th Ward Alderman Megan Ellyia Green, 31.2 percent. – Wiley Price/St. Louis American photo

Incumbent Lewis Reed won the Democratic primary election March 5 for what will almost certainly be his fourth term as president of the Board of Aldermen.

Reed got 35.6 percent of the votes followed by State Senator Jamilah Nasheed with 31.6 percent and 15th Ward Alderman Megan Ellyia Green, 31.2 percent. Former alderman Jimmie Matthews finished a far distant fourth, with just under two percent.

The St. Louis Labor Council chose not to make an endorsement in the race, noting that Reed, Nasheed and Green have all been strong supporters of workers and Labor issues. When that happens, it is standard practice for the Labor Council to leave the race “open,” allowing individual unions to offer their support for the candidates of their choice.

Reed will face Green Party candidate Jerome Bauer in the April 2 election.

Reed has served as board president for 12 years and has twice run for mayor.

Mayor Lyda Krewson endorsed him in last week’s primary.

In addition to Reed, all incumbents seeking re-election to aldermanic ward seats won in Democratic primary races across the city. Voters chose the Democratic nominee in 12 contested board races, including three where incumbents weren’t seeking re-election. Most have no opposition in April.

The St. Louis Labor Council took an “open” position in the races for board president and aldermanic races in wards 2, 10, 18 and 22, and endorsed in the races for wards 4, 6, 6, 12, 14, 16, 20,24, 26 and 28, backing the winner in all but one of the races.

Reed’s almost certain re-election means he will be steering the city through a proposed merger with St. Louis County, and privatization of St. Louis Lambert International Airport.

He and the Board of Aldermen also will be challenged with addressing the city’s decades-long population decline and finding a solution to the city’s dismaying crime rate, which ranks among the highest in the country.

Reed, who lost a nephew to violent crime in the city, supports a Department of Justice backed program called “Ceasefire” that has worked effectively in Nashville, Boston and New Orleans by treating violent crime as a public health crisis, with several agencies working together to address the problem.

Looking ahead, Reed cited a development boom in the central corridor and the relocation of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s western headquarters to north St. Louis – and the likely additional new development that will follow – as signs the city is moving in the right direction.

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