Join Riverfront Times Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Monday, January 13, 2020

St. Louis Alderwoman Cara Spencer First to Challenge Krewson for Mayor

Posted By on Mon, Jan 13, 2020 at 3:27 PM

click to enlarge Alderwoman Cara Spencer wants to roll into the mayor's office in 2021. - DANNY WICENTOWSKI
  • Alderwoman Cara Spencer wants to roll into the mayor's office in 2021.

St. Louis city's next mayoral election isn't until April 2021, but — presuming we all survive 2020 — we now know the primary showdown against Mayor Lyda Krewson will include Alderwoman Cara Spencer.

Spencer, who represents the 20th Ward, announced her candidacy today during an appearance on St. Louis on the Air. In a subsequent tweet, she wrote that "Our government has been on autopilot for decades," and that "It’s time to throw the typewriters out of City Hall."

First elected in 2015, Spencer has played the role of watchdog and activist, most recently in her long campaign against the city's now-ended exploration to privatize the airport. In that role, Spencer's push for a public vote on the issue failed to pass as a bill in the Board of Aldermen, but her outspoken opposition lent momentum to the various elected and citizen groups that fought the privatization plan. Spencer was eventually vindicated in December, when Krewson announced that the city would not consider private proposals for taking over airport operations.

In another high-profile fight, Spencer sued the owners of the St. Louis Blues in 2017 in an attempt to stop the city from putting a $107 million stadium renovation on the backs of taxpayers. That attempt failed, due in no small part of the Blues' lawyers threatening to sue Spencer for legal fees, even though the massive giveaway wasn't supported by the stadium lease.

Spencer may have lost that fight, but in her campaign announcement, the alderwoman says she wants to "live in a city that works."

Then again, Spencer may not be the only challenger waiting in the wings. The mayoral contest will almost certainly come down to the Democratic primary in March 2021. In the 2017 election, a field of field major candidates ended in Krewson winning by a razor-thin margin over Treasurer Tishaura Jones.

To date, Jones has not clarified her plans for 2021 — but she hasn't been entirely silent. About an hour after Spencer declared her candidacy, Jones retweeted Ward 25 Democratic committeewoman Lori Lamprich.

Along with a tea-sipping gif, Lamprich had tweeted, "I, for one, am excited to get to work electing @tishaura as Mayor of St. Louis next year."

Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at @D_Towski. E-mail the author at
  • Sign up for our weekly newsletters to get the latest on the news, things to do and places to eat delivered right to your inbox.
  • Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Tags: , , , ,

Riverfront Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2020 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation