Andrew Jones won the March 7th, Republican primary race for mayor and is the only Black candidate still in the running for mayor.
The five black democratic candidates received a total of 67.5% of the vote. Since St. Louis is in one the most racially polarized cities in the country, having a Black republican candidate in the general election might be a game changer.
Before Andrew Jones' victory in the republican primary, I had assumed I would be voting for Larry Rice during the general election, but I am now taking a closer look at Andrew Jones. There's even indication by comments made by Jones concerning the homeless that Jones would be more willing to work together with Larry Rice than the current administration or Krewson.
Who Is Andrew Jones
You may be wondering just who is Andrew Jones? I had the same question, so here's the result of my research.
Andrew Jones is an Executive Vice President of Business Development and Marketing at Southwestern Electric, which distributes electricity from Collinsville to Effingham, Illinois. Jones was born in Cairo, IL in 1960, raised in East St. Louis and has lived in the City of St. Louis for about 30 years, currently in the Botanical Heights neighborhood.
Andrew Jones earned a BS in economics with a minor in business administration from Lincoln University (Jefferson City, MO), and two graduate degrees; an MA in International Business from Webster University, and an MBA from Washington University's Olin School of Business.
Below is a video of a February 22, 2017, primary election event held at the Sheldon Concert Hall where the St. Louis mayoral candidates participated and responded to questions.
If you would like to skip the other candidates response, Andrew Jones responds to questions or makes statements at: 7:53, 10:55, 21:23, 30:46, 34:13, 45:20, 101:10, 109:05, 111:52, 116:45, 121:21, 132:36, and 141:51 in the timeline.
Will Black voters support the White democratic primary winner who only received about 5% of the Black vote during the primary or will they break ranks and support the Black republican candidate.
I consider myself independent, however, I have voted most often for democratic candidates. Unfortunately, there haven't been many republican candidates that genuinely seemed to have the best interest of the black community at heart. We need a change in St. Louis and a Black republican mayor would certainly bring change. The one thing I know for certain, it couldn't be much worse than it is now, and St. Louis has had democratic leadership I believe for my entire life.
The fact that Krewson was endorsed by Slay and the Police Union doesn't inspire faith that things will be any different under a Krewson administration. A republican mayor might even be able to gain additional favor from the republican governor and legislature and work as partners rather than adversaries.
For more information about Andrew Jones' views, check out Building St. Louis News which published a series of questions and answers concerning a range of St. Louis issues or visit the Andrew Jones for Mayor website