Elected officials from St. Louis were in high spirits following the inauguration of Missouri’s next Governor, Republican Eric Greitens.
NewsChannel 5 spoke with Mayor Francis Slay and State Senator Jamilah Nasheed following the ceremony at the state capitol in Jefferson City on Monday.
Both Democrats said despite their political differences with the state’s new chief executive, they are looking forward to working with the new administration.
“It’s hard to find anything bad to say about this guy,” Slay said.
Greitens enters his first term in office with Republican super-majorities in both chambers of the statehouse. The GOP now also controls almost every single statewide Constitutional office.
In theory, that means it shouldn’t be as hard for the former Navy SEAL and best-selling author to push through key agenda items that helped get him elected, like right to work legislation.
It might also ruin any chances of St. Louis getting state money to build a new professional soccer stadium downtown.
Before he was even sworn into office, Greitens said he didn’t support using public tax dollars to fund multimillion-dollar stadium projects.
But Slay and Nasheed were optimistic Greitens will put people above politics. They both predicted that the city could benefit from having a St. Louis native and resident in office.
“I think it will be a great year for St. Louis now that we have a Governor who lives in St. Louis in office. He can sympathize and empathize with what’s going on in the city in terms of crime and job opportunities,” Nasheed said.
Slay said he will be working with Greitens for the remainder of his tenure as Mayor.
“Whether we agree on everything, and certainly we’re not, but he and I are going to be working together on things we can agree on," Slay said. "Things that’ll benefit St. Louis.”
Slay is leaving office later this year.
He added that working with Republicans and Greitens’ team will have to remain a priority for whomever replaces him at city hall.