ST. LOUIS — Two alderpersons now say they're running for the citywide post of president of the Board of Aldermen — St. Louis' legislative leader — after the indictment and resignation of Lewis Reed, who held the position since 2007.
Alderpersons Megan Green and Jack Coatar announced this week they'd run for the powerful seat, setting up a showdown between a progressive, in Green, and the traditionally business-friendly Coatar. Alderpersons Tom Oldenburg and Cara Spencer are also contemplating runs. Alderman Joe Vollmer is serving as interim president but does not plan to run for the office.
Most political observers believe an election to fill Reed's term will come in November, preceded by a primary. They also believe it would be a preference primary, in which voters cast ballots for as many candidates as they wish, with the top two vote getters advancing to the general election.
The winner would serve until next spring, when a new election for aldermanic president would take place.
At stake in the race is a spot on the city's powerful fiscal board, on which the president serves with Mayor Tishaura Jones and Comptroller Darlene Green, who are allies, but also the power to direct legislation through the Board of Aldermen.
Coatar, alderman since 2015, in a statement Friday said he'd work to replicate successes in his 7th Ward "on a much larger scale." His ward includes downtown, Soulard, Lafayette Square, Compton Heights and Near North Riverfront, among other neighborhoods.
"St. Louis must be able to fix its roads and pick up its trash — and recognize that failure to provide basic services continues to fall hardest on Northside neighborhoods," he said.
Green, who since 2014 has served as alderwoman for the 15th Ward, which includes the Tower Grove East and Tower Grove South neighborhoods, earlier said she'd run for president, citing successes like the election of Jones, emptying the Medium Security Institution known as the workhouse and passing an increased minimum wage. It was later nullified by the state of Missouri.
"Let's show them that the people who want St. Louis to work for everyone outnumber those who'd leave our most vulnerable behind, in some empty, soulless quest for 'progress,'" Green said.
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