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Watch: Mayoral candidates face off in 5 On Your Side debate

The four candidates are Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed, Alderwoman Cara Spencer, Treasurer Tishaura Jones, and utility executive Andrew Jones

ST. LOUIS — On March 2, St. Louis city voters will narrow down the list of candidates for a new mayor in the city's new non-partisan primary election. Incumbent Lyda Krewson is not seeking re-election.

A week before the election all four candidates faced off in a debate hosted by 5 On Your Side, Nine PBS, and St. Louis Public Radio.

The topics discussed were wide-ranging from whether the city should re-enter St. Louis County to Metrolink expansion to COVID vaccines. But the one issue that all four agreed was the most important was violent crime in St. Louis. 

The four candidates are Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed, Alderwoman Cara Spencer, Treasurer Tishaura Jones, and utility executive Andrew Jones.

Voting in this year's primary will be different in St. Louis.

In November, 70% of St. Louis voters passed "Prop D," adopting nonpartisan elections for local races:

"Shall the City of St. Louis adopt an ordinance to: 

* establish an open, non-partisan system for elections to the offices of Mayor, Comptroller, President of the Board of Aldermen, and Alderman 

* enable voters to choose all the candidates they wish in the open, non-partisan primary

* allow the top two candidates to then compete in a runoff general election?"

RELATED: Know to Vote: How voting in the St. Louis mayoral race is different this year

It scraps voting by party: rather than requesting a primary ballot based on your affiliation, Republicans and Democrats are on the same ballot.

Along with the mayor’s job, this is how the comptroller, aldermen and board of aldermen president will be elected — though Darlene Green is running unopposed for comptroller, and the board of alderman race is not on the ballot this spring.

The system St. Louis will now use is often referred to as approval voting. You aren't restricted to voting for just one candidate: you can mark as many as you want in each race.

RELATED: How to vote absentee for Primary Municipal Election in St. Louis