"Twelve more years!"
So joked one Francis Slay supporter at the mayor's campaign headquarters last night as a modest crowd waited for the incumbent to arrive and officially declare his very unsurprising reelection victory. With little fanfare, Slay walked in around 9:15 p.m. soliciting cheers from the crowd, packed into the Grove district office, drinking wine and beer (and some whisky, too).
No St. Louis mayor has ever held four four-year terms -- and Slay, who has had the position since 2001, told reporters he could try for another term in 2017.
"I'm concentrating on four [years]. I'm not ruling out another run," he told a small group of reporters. "Some of the things, our goals, are going to take longer than four years. They're going to take five years."
Eight more years?
In the primary election last month, Slay defeated St. Louis Board of Aldermen president Lewis Reed, his only real threat this year, paving a certain path to his historic victory last night (against a virtually nonexistent Green Party candidate).
And that certainty seemed to set the tone for the low-key event, attended mostly by staffers, friends and close supporters. He's going to have a more formal victory party next month.
"I think this was anticlimactic in the sense that people felt like the big election was [past]...so there wasn't a heavy turnout, there wasn't a big motivation," the mayor said. "I can tell you this: I vote in every election, because I want to be able to complain if there's something I don't like and it's good to see more people vote, but here...people felt like it was an anticlimax situation."
Still, he said, "I'm looking forward to continuing to move this city forward. I love the people of St. Louis. I love the city, and it's just a great honor for me."
Slay does have a five-year plan, focused on the theme of "sustainability," that includes arts and culture initiatives, infrastructure goals, health improvement objectives and more.
Continue for more of Slay's comments last night and for more photos.
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