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Challengers Unable To Overcome the Power of Incumbency

March 8, 2019 Board of Aldermen, Featured, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Challengers Unable To Overcome the Power of Incumbency
St. Louis City Hall

Tuesday’s partisan primary is over, next up the candidates from all the parties will face off in the April 2nd general election. Oh right, the Democratic primary is THE election. Next month a few of us will vote again, for the school board. If St  louis elected nonpartisan officials we could eliminate one of two low-turnout elections held one month apart.

Only three of the 15 seats on Tuesday were open seats, one was vacant and two incumbents decided not to seek an additional term.

18th Ward:

  • Only 17% of registered voters participated in the 5-way race for an open seat.
  • Winner Jesse Todd received 38.84% of the vote.
  • Ald. Terry Kennedy decided not to run again.

24th Ward:

  • 21.2% of those registered voted in the 5-way race.
  • Attorney Bret Narayan won a majority of the votes with 55.54% selecting him.
  • Former Ald. Tom Bauer came in 2nd with 16.6%. Whew, thankful he didn’t win. Two independent candidates have filed to run in April, a good plan in case Bauer had won the Democratic nomination.
  • Ald. Scott Ogilvie didn’t run for re-election.

26th Ward:

  • Twenty percent of registered voters cast ballots in this 3-way race.
  • Shameem Hubbard, wife of Rodney Hubbard, won with only 36.73% of the votes.
  • Ald. Frank Williamson resigned after accepting a job in the Treasurer’s office.

Now for the 12 seats where the incumbent won another term. Note that there were a few incumbents I wanted to see win, more I wanted to lose:

2nd Ward:

  • Lisa Middlebrook was re-elected, turnout was 15.9%

4th Ward:

  • Sam Moore won another term, voter turnout was 14.9%

6th Ward:

  • Christine Ingrassia survived the 4-way race with 44.26%, Debra Carnahan came in 2nd place with 27.84%. Turnout was 25.5%.

8th Ward:

  • Annie Rice was re-elected in the 2-way race with nearly seventky percent of the vote, turnout was relatively high: 28%.

10th Ward:

  • Joe Vollmer easily defeated the challenger, with over sixty percent of the votes. Turnout was 21.8%.

12th Ward:

  • Larry Arnowitz crushed his two challengers with 74.33%. Voter turnout was 21.9%.

14th Ward:

  • Carol Howard will have another term with 52.01% to her challenger’s 47.99%. Turnout was 20.6%.

16th Ward:

  • Thomas Oldenburg was unchallenged, turnout was 21.9%.

20th Ward:

  • Cara Spencer defeated her challenger with 69.55%, voter turnout was 17.6%

22nd Ward:

  • Jeffrey Boyd was re-elected with over sixty percent of the votes, turnout was 16.2%.

28th Ward:

  • Heather Navarro wasn’t challenged, voter turnout was 19%.

Board of Aldermen President:

  • Lewis Reed was re-elected to a fourth term in the 4-way race with only 35.63% of the vote, citywide turnout this election was 17.83%.
  • State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed came in 2nd with 31.6%, Ald. Megan Green 3rd with 31.19%, and Jimmie Mathews a very distant 4th with 1.57%.
  • Over 200 people who voted in the democratic primary didn’t vote in this race.
  • Post-Dispatch: “Lewis Reed won only five of the city’s 28 wards in Tuesday’s Democratic primary race for president of the city’s Board of Aldermen, but those victories came in historically high voting areas, providing enough support for him to prevail in a close battle with two opponents.

    By comparison, state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed won 13 wards, dominating the north side. Alderman Megan Ellyia Green won 10, with a strong showing in the central part of the city including her Tower Grove South neighborhood.

    Despite Nasheed’s and Green’s faring well geographically, it was the turnout in the wards Reed won that made the difference.”

Only two races, with three or more candidates, did the winner get a plurality of the votes cast. Four races the winner didn’t get more than 50%. In many places these races would have a runoff election between the top two. Still, in other places they’d have an instant runoff, also known as Ranked-Choice Voting.

A ranked-choice voting system (RCV) is an electoral system in which voters rank candidates by preference on their ballots. If a candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, he or she is declared the winner. If no candidate wins a majority of first-preference votes, the candidate with the fewest first-preference votes is eliminated. First-preference votes cast for the failed candidate are eliminated, lifting the second-preference choices indicated on those ballots. A new tally is conducted to determine whether any candidate has won a majority of the adjusted votes. The process is repeated until a candidate wins an outright majority. This system is sometimes referred to as an instant runoff voting system. (Ballotpedia)

This video explains RCV:

The ultimate winner might be the same, or not. It just depends on how voters ranked the candidates after their 1st choice. It eliminates the perception of the third candidate as a spoiler.

RCV would be especially helpful in highly crowded races, like the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.

— Steve Patterson

 

Ugly Local Primary To Be Held On Tuesday

March 1, 2019 Board of Aldermen, Featured, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Ugly Local Primary To Be Held On Tuesday

St. Louis’ partisan primary will be held Tuesday. However, though we have a general election a month later, the Democratic primary is THE election. The even-numbered wards are electing Aldermen and the entire city is electing the President of the Board of Aldernen.

In my view, this election cycle has been uglier than usual. The a accusations between candidates, bickering among supporters online, is the ugly I’m talking about. Maybe past elections were just as bad?

Four years ago the turnout was less than 10%. Embarrassing, but a competitive citywide race should increase turnout. I predict turnout will be under 15% — prove me wrong!

Be sure to vote Tuesday, the polls will be open 6am-7pm.

— Steve Patterson

 

Four Candidates In Democratic Primary to be President of the Board of Aldermen

February 15, 2019 Board of Aldermen, Featured, Politics/Policy Comments Off on Four Candidates In Democratic Primary to be President of the Board of Aldermen
St. Louis City Hall

Today’s post is for those who’ve not made a decision about who to vote for in the 4-way race for the Democratic nomination to be president of the Board of Aldermen. The partisan primary will be March 5th, the winner will very likely easily defeat the Green Party nominee the general election on April 2nd.

If St. Louis government were a game of chess, the president of the Board of Aldermen would be the queen. It is a unique position: Empowered in both the city’s legislative and executive branches, the board president can wield power both in offense and defense. It’s equally capable of holding its own in a fight or just holding ground against an advancing opponent. (Riverfront Times)

To assist with your pre-voting research, here are the four candidates in the Democratic primary, listed here in reverse ballot order, with relevant links:

Jimmie Matthews:

Lewis Reed:

Megan Ellyia Green

Jamilah Nasheed

I personally enjoy seeing competitive challengers, not a fan of incumbents easily winning another 4 year term just because challengers are too timid to take on the power of incumbency.

I’d always heard the phrase “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” When I was younger I didn’t connect that to elections, but it’s very true.  I know the top 3 candidates, as well as people working on their campaigns.  Social media plays a role these days.

I’ve already voted absentee, but I voted based on my favorability of the candidates and their policy positions. I’m not going to say who I voted for, I will say it wasn’t Matthews. Hopefully each of you have made up your mind, or will use some criteria to make a selection before Tuesday March 5th.

In the 2015 race the voter turnout was less than 10%. Given the competitive citywide race the turnout should be in double digits, but it was less than 15% in 2007 — the last year of a competitive primary for President of the Board of Aldermen.  Your vote can make a big difference this year — VOTE!

— Steve Patterson

 

Last Meeting of St. Louis Board of Aldermen Before Spring Elections

February 1, 2019 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on Last Meeting of St. Louis Board of Aldermen Before Spring Elections
St. Louis City Hall

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will meet at 10am today, their 31st meeting of the 2018-2019 session. This is their last meeting before the March 5th primary and April 2nd general.

Since no new bills could get through the process before the end of the 2018-2019 session, there are no new bills being introduced. Today’s agenda includes a long list of bills that will likely get passed and sent to the mayor for her signature.

The meeting begins at 10am, past meetings and a live broadcast can be watched online here. See list of all board bills for the 2018-2019 session.

— Steve Patterson

 

St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 30 of 2018-2019 Session

January 25, 2019 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen: New Board Bills Week 30 of 2018-2019 Session
St. Louis City Hall

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will meet at 10am today, their 30th meeting of the 2018-2019 session. This is the first full board meeting of 2019.

Today’s agenda includes four (4) new bills covering a wide variety of issues:

  • B.B.#233 – Arnowitz – An Ordinance authorizing and directing the Director of the Department of Human Services, to accept funding in an amount not to exceed fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) from the OASIS Institute and to enter into and execute agreements with the OASIS Institute in substantially the same form as Exhibit A and Exhibit B, attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference, for the purpose of providing two fall prevention programs for older adults; appropriating said funds and authorizing the Director of the Department of Human Services, upon approval of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, to expend such funds as permitted by the agreements; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#234 – Arnowitz – An Ordinance authorizing and directing the Director of the Department of Human Services, to enter into and execute an agreement in substantially the same form as Exhibit A, attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference, with the Missouri Association of Area Agencies on Aging (MA4) for the purpose of providing certain home and community based services in an amount not to exceed seventeen thousand dollars ($17,000); appropriating said funds and authorizing the Director of the Department of Human Services, upon approval of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, to expend such funds as permitted by the agreement; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#235 – Kennedy – An ordinance amending Section One of Ordinance 67588, to exclude those blocks of N. Kingshighway Blvd. between Delmar Blvd. and Wells Avenue from the Eighteenth Ward Liquor Control District.
  • B.B.#236 – Roddy – An ordinance recommended by the Board of Public Service to conditionally vacate above surface, surface and sub- surface rights for vehicle, equestrian and pedestrian travel in a section of Spring beginning approximately 445 feet south of Forest Park and continuing southwardly 30 feet to its terminus at Market/Interstate 64 in the City.

The meeting begins at 10am, past meetings and a live broadcast can be watched online here. See list of all board bills for the 2017-2018 session — the new bills listed above may not be online right away.

— Steve Patterson

 

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