St. Louis voters have elected Tishaura Jones as mayor, making her the first Black woman to lead the city.
Jones, the city’s treasurer, secured 52% of the vote to Alderwoman Cara Spencer’s 48%, according to the unofficial tally from the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners, St. Louis Public Radio reported.
Only some 3,000 votes separated the two candidates in an election that saw a 29% turnout, the commissioners said.
Before her supporters Tuesday night, Jones said this election was an opportunity for the city “to rise” and that her administration will neither shrink from tough conversations nor from confronting racism.
“It’s time for St. Louis to thrive. It’s time to bring a breath of fresh air to our neighborhoods,” she said. “I will lead with compassion, intention, a bit of humor, and yes, I hope you get to see a bit of my style.”
Here are some quotes from Jones’ victory speech:
“St. Louis: This is an opportunity for us to rise,” Jones said in her victory speech. “I told you when I was running that we aren’t done avoiding tough conversations. We are done ignoring the racism that has held our city and our region back.”
“I will not stay silent when I spot racism,” Jones said. “I will not stay silent when I spot homophobia or transphobia. I will not stay silent when I spot xenophobia. I will not stay silent when I spot religious intolerance. I will not stay silent when I spot any injustice.”
It was her second time running for mayor, having lost in the 2017 Democratic primary to Lynda Krewson by fewer than 900 ballots.
Krewson, who would go on to win the mayoral election, had announced in November that she would not seek a second term.
“Congratulations to Mayor-elect Tishaura Jones!” Krewson tweeted Tuesday night. “I am rooting for your success. My administration and I are prepared to make this as smooth a transition as possible.”
Spencer also sent her congratulations on Jones’ victory, stating “you have my support in making St. Louis the great city we know it can be.”
St. Louis Comptroller Darlene Green described Jones in her congratulatory message as a strong leader “with a deep personal commitment to the people of St. Louis.”
“We have many challenges and I look forward to working with Tishaura on tackling them so that St. Louis can become the thriving, equitable city we all deserve,” Green said in a statement.
Jones will be sworn in April 20.
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