The people of St. Louis have spoken and another glass ceiling has been shattered as St. Louis treasurer Tishaura Jones has been elected Mayor. In a close race, she beat Alderwoman Cara Spencer, by a margin of (51.7 % to 47.8 %) with voter turnout at around 29%.
Both candidates had touted their advancement to the general election that the city was ready for a new direction.
Over the last few weeks of the campaign Spencer, tried to tie Jones to the past, calling her a “career politician” who had spent most of the last decade in elected office. But Jones very cleverly flipped the narrative by stating that her time in the state legislature, as treasurer and in the private sector actually prepares for this and that experience would help her be an effective mayor.
Jones is set to be sworn in April 20, though the pageantry with the inauguration will likely be muted due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.
Tishaura Jones to take office as St. Louis mayor in socially distanced inauguration https://t.co/4PHn5fo1PI
— St. Louis Post-Dispatch (@stltoday) April 17, 2021
Jones has promised to close the north St. Louis jail within 100 days of taking office. She also plans to address the ongoing problems at the downtown jail. She will also have her work cut out for her as it pertains to the city’s budget and the $500 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds that have to be spent. She’ll have to work with the city’s aldermen to get this done efficiently and effectively.
As an outgoing treasurer, she picks her successor, and that person will finish her term, which runs until 2024. Jones was quick to say she hadn’t given it much thought and her focus was the mayor’s race until that was over.
Jones says she wants to increase voter turnout, in “The Lou.” There are over 200,000 registered voters and only 58,000 showed up to cast their vote.
Jones served two terms in the Missouri House Of Representatives and was the first African-American and first woman to serve as assistant minority floor leader. She’s no stranger to politics and that which Jones’ candidate looked to use against her actually helped her in the end.
She joins Boston Mayor Kim Janey as the first African-American women to lead major cities Just another glass ceiling smashed in the long list of firsts for women in this country in business, politics and sports the past half decade.