“I’m Bullish On St. Louis”: St. Louis Mayoral Candidate Cara Spencer Lays Out Her Plans

McPherson

IS CARA SPENCER ST. LOUIS’S ANSWER to Elizabeth Warren? You could be forgiven for thinking so. Like the senator from Massachusetts, Spencer seems to have a plan for everything. As a candidate for St. Louis mayor, she touts proposals to reform economic development, strengthen public safety and help the city recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, among others.

This is the first bid by Spencer, 42, for citywide office. She has been an alderwoman since 2015 for the 20th ward in the southeastern section of the city, which takes in part of lively Cherokee Street and also includes impoverished yet stabilizing areas like Dutchtown and Gravois Park.

This year for the first time, all candidates for mayor will compete in a nonpartisan primary, which is set for March 2. Primary voters will be able to vote for as many candidates as they like. The top two vote-getters will compete in the general election on April 6.

Aside from Spencer, the mayoral candidates are businessman Andrew Jones, Treasurer Tishaura Jones, and Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed. McPherson contacted each candidate’s campaign for a telephone interview, but only Spencer and Reed agreed to them. (The interview with Reed will appear in the next few days.)

Spencer spoke with McPherson in a Jan. 23 conversation that covered development, tax incentives, the city budget, policing and other issues. An edited and condensed version of the conversation is below.

Read the full q&a here