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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Odds Stacked Against Black Candidates, According to Some Operatives

Posted By on Thu, Aug 2, 2012 at 2:17 PM

click to enlarge VIA NYTIMES
  • Via NYTimes
Does race still matter in St. Louis politics? It's one of the most divisive questions in this city and one that every candidate and political operative thinks they can answer. 

Writing for St. Louis American this morning, Alderman Antonio French points out that due to redistricting, several primary races are split between a single white candidate from South City and multiple black candidates from north of Delmar. 

The alderman from the city's 21st ward cautions that if black candidates do not win these elections, where the odds are stacked against them, St. Louis, a city that is roughly 50 percent African American, will have no black representatives in Congress, the Missouri Senate or in the state House.

"It could mean a majority-black city having almost no black representation in these branches of government for the first time since before I was born," French writes. 

There are multiple black candidates facing a single white candidate in these races:
State House of Representatives District 84
Mike Owens: a white male and former journalist who is married to the city's 28th Ward alderman, Lyda Krewson.
Hope Whitehead: a former attorney and small business owner, who is a black female. 
Karla May: a black female who currently serves as state representative to District 57 (which has been redrawn into 84).

State House of Representatives District 78
Penny Hubbard: A black female who currently serves as state representative to District 58 (which has been redrawn into 78).
Samuel J Cummings: A black male and recent college grad who grew up in Soulard.
Ruth Ehresman: A white female who has spent many years working in public policy. 

State Senate District 5
Jamilah Nasheed: A black female who has served as state representative to District 58 since 2007
Robin Wright-Jones: A black female and incumbant to Senate Distict 5. 
Jeanette Mott-Oxford: A white female who has served as state representative to Distict 59 since 2005. 

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