Let the turnover at the St. Louis Board of Aldermen begin. Voters in Tuesday's primary election chose their preferred Democratic candidates for five open seats and turned out one of six incumbents up for re-election.
The evening's upset was Dan Guenther, who won the 9th Ward with 64.2 percent of the vote. He beat longtime Alderman Ken Ortmann, who had the backing of St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and the St. Louis Police Officers Association.
Guenther, who has no Republican opponent in the April 4 general election, said his wide margin of victory, and the tight mayor’s race, show that people want new ideas in city government.
“I’m proud of what we’re doing down here, and I’m really honored to have been elected, and I think we’ll be able to move the city in a direction where we have these new ideas at all levels of city government," he said, adding that he'll work on sustainability issues and dealing with vacant properties.
In the 15th Ward, Jennifer Florida tried but didn't succeed in retaking her old seat from Megan Green, who received 66 percent of the vote.
The five open seats, Ortmann’s loss and 28th Ward Alderman Lyda Krewson’s likely election as mayor means the board will see its largest number of new members since 1991.
The winners of the Democratic primary for the open seats are:
- 3rd Ward, northeast St. Louis: Brandon Bosley, the son of outgoing Alderman Freeman Bosley. He beat Gloria Muhammad by 58 votes in a race that involved six candidates.
- 11th Ward, far southeast St. Louis: Sarah Wood Martin, the wife of Democratic state Sen. Jake Hummel, received 65.5 percent of the vote.
- 16th Ward, southeast St. Louis: Tom Oldenburg, who got 55 percent of the vote.
- 21st Ward, north St. Louis: John Collins-Muhammad earned 44.6 percent of the vote.
- 27th Ward, northwest St. Louis): Pam Boyd earned 48 percent of the vote.
Collins-Muhammad is notable because, should he win in April, he'll be the youngest member of the board at 25.
“Hopefully we can all work together to find some common solutions to move St. Louis forward in a positive and comprehensive way. But I think it’s a great start," said Collins-Muhammad, who will fill a seat left vacant due to Antonio French's mayoral bid. "We need young people. Young people bring fresh ideas, a new perspective.”
The winners of the Democratic primaries for the contested seats are:
- 1st Ward, northwest St. Louis: incumbent Sharon Tyus narrowly held onto her seat, beating two challengers. Tyus was first elected to the Board back in 1991, but lost her job following a nasty redistricting fight in 2001. She won back the seat in 2013.
- 5th Ward, north-central St. Louis: Incumbent Tammika Hubbard earned 43 percent of the vote; there were six candidates.
- 9th Ward, southeast St. Louis: Guenther had 64.2 percent of the vote.
- 15th Ward, south-central St. Louis: Green earned 66 percent of the vote.
- 17th Ward, central corridor: Incumbent Joe Roddy won 58 percent of the vote, topping Joe Diekemper.
- 19th Ward, central and north-central St. Louis: Current Alderman Marlene Davis handily beat Lindsay Pattan with more than three-quarters of the vote.
Also, in the Democratic primary for comptroller, the incumbent appears to be safe. Darlene Green overwhelmingly beat newcomer Alexandra Johnson, and will face a Green Party candidate in April.
Green has spent 22 years in the comptroller's office, which manages the city’s finances and pays city workers. The comptroller also is part of the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, which has say over incentives for developers.
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