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Kim Gardner wins Democratic primary for St. Louis circuit attorney

Gardner, who has served as the city’s circuit attorney since 2016 defeated Mary Pat Carl on Tuesday

ST. LOUIS — Kimberly Gardner has won the race for St. Louis circuit attorney in the Democratic primary.

Gardner, who has served as the city’s circuit attorney since 2016 defeated Mary Pat Carl on Tuesday.

Gardner said her victory is “about people who sent a message that they want reform in the city of St. Louis.”

She was elected St. Louis’ first Black circuit attorney in 2016 where she defeated Carl and two other candidates.

In 2019, Gardner announced a new approach to reducing crime and increasing safety in the city. The changes included changes to the charging policy, alternatives to prison time and adjustments to bail and bond practices.

PREVIOUS STORY: Gardner says she will issue summonses instead of arrest warrants, promote diversionary programs for non-violent offenses

She also drew the ire of police leaders when she developed an “exclusion list” of officers who can’t serve as primary witnesses because of unspecified credibility concerns. Critics have accused her of falling short in convicting violent criminals in the city with one of the nation's highest murder rates.

In 2018, she gained national attention when she charged at the time, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, with felony invasion of privacy. The charge was eventually dropped and Greitens resigned in June 2018.

PREVIOUS STORY: ‘It’s time to heal the wounds of our city and state,” St. Louis drops charges against Gov. Greitens

In June, Gardner made headlines for filing charges against the couple seen brandishing guns at protesters as they walked past their house in the Central West End. Republican leaders were outraged at the filing of charges. President Trump called the charges “an egregious abuse of power,” his press secretary said. Missouri Governor Parson vowed to likely pardon if they're convicted.

PREVIOUS STORY: Charges filed against St. Louis couple who pointed guns toward protesters

Gardner will run against Republican Daniel Zdrodowski in November.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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