It was a close mayor’s race, but history was made in St. Louis on Tuesday. The AP reported that St. Louis elected 49-year-old Tishaura Jones as the city’s first black woman mayor while beating Alderwoman Cara Spencer in the general election with 51.7% to 47.8% of Spencer, based on unofficial results published on the city’s website. Jones is a former state official who has served as treasurer since 2013. Acting Mayor Lyda Krewson, who was reportedly the city’s first female mayor, announced in November that she would not seek a second term. Jones is sworn in on April 20th.
AP reports that Jones was used in her criticism of the “arrest and detention” model of the criminal justice system. Dealing with violent murders will be one of Jones’s serious challenges, along with revitalizing the economy and helping small businesses that are struggling to recover after the COVID-19 shutdown. It has been reported that St. Louis recorded 46 murders last Tuesday, roughly 10 ahead of last year’s pace.
Nevertheless, Jones – who is a Democrat – thanked everyone who had supported the campaign in their acceptance speech and promised to face the challenges directly.
“St. Louis, this is an opportunity for us to stand up, ”Jones said during her mayoral acceptance speech. “But I told you when I was running that we couldn’t avoid tough conversations. We are done ignoring the racism that has held our city and region back. I did the same case four years ago and came up short, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’d rather lose another election than end the tough talks in every corner of our city. “
In the speech, Jones added that she would not be silent about the need to eradicate racism through dog whistling and the underlying bigotry.
“I will not be silent when I see racism,” said Jones. “I will not be silent when I see homophobia or transphobia. I will not be silent when I see xenophobia. I will not be silent when I see religious intolerance. I will not be silent when I see injustices. Injustice everywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. “
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch revealed that Jones had met with outgoing Mayor Krewson Wednesday to discuss the new administration’s transition.