St. Louis, MO (KSDK) - City of St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay says he looks forward to a positive campaign against Board of Alderman President Lewis Reed in the March 2013 Democratic primary.
The mayor addressed reporters Wednesday following the swearing-in of new St. Louis Police Board member Erwin "Erv" Switzer.
Francis Slay is claiming endorsements from St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley and Congressman Lacy Clay.
Slay is seeking his fourth consecutive term in office. He was first elected in 2001, defeating incumbent Clarence Harmon. Slay easily won re-election bids in 2005 and 2009.
Watch the interview in its entirety in the video player above.
Mayor Slay posted the following statement on his blog earlier Wednesday:
"I plan to seek reelection in March 2013. It is fair to say I am ready for a campaign. I will start off with the support of County Executive Charlie Dooley and Congressman Lacy Clay, with both legislators who will represent St. Louis in the state senate next session, with much of the small and large business community, and with the unions representing many government employees and the construction trades. I have a good campaign staff, a healthy campaign account, and a strong record of making St. Louis a better place to live and work. I won't take anything for granted.
"Over the past decade, the City has weathered an economic crisis better than many other cities. Most public schools have improved, though not enough. Some public schools are excellent choices for parents. Most neighborhoods are safer - and new partnerships between the police and city residents, new technologies, and smarter policing will make all of them safer. In November, we have will have a chance to regain control of the department for the first time since the Civil War. I have made a hundred conscious decisions to make St. Louis a better place for young people, artists, pet owners, urban farmers, small businesses, and entrepreneurs.
"One of the most important things I've done, and one of the most difficult, has been to try to get control of the skyrocketing costs of the fire fighters pension system. Half of that department's budget is now spent on its pensions. That cannot continue. It must change. And a circuit court judge believes - as do I - that the city has the legal right to do so. So, we will, keeping our promises to retirees and being fair to current employees, but saving enough money to pay for parks, roads, police, and economic development.
"I don't have anything terrible to tell you about Reed today, but I do want to tell him that the job of mayor is very different from the job he now has.
"I expect this to be a positive campaign, because Reed has supported me throughout most of my term - until he recently decided to run for higher office. I very much look forward to it."