Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Slay Wins Race to Lead Board of Alderman

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Slay Wins Race to Lead Board of Alderman

Article excerpt

Francis G. Slay converted his overwhelming lead in endorsements and campaign cash to a landslide victory Tuesday over six fellow Democrats for aldermanic president.

Slay told a crowd of about 400 Tuesday night that his first priority would be "building the confidence of the people who live in the city so that they can believe in the future of the city and the future of their neighborhoods."

He echoed a theme of Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr. - who endorsed Slay last week - when he said he would stress neighborhood stability and citywide cooperation.

Returns in the primary election showed that Slay, the alderman from the 23rd Ward in far south St. Louis, ran well in all parts of the city. He collected more votes than the combined total of the next two largest vote-getters - Alderman Velma Gene Bailey, D-19th Ward, and Alderman Phyllis Young, D-7th Ward.

Because no Republican or third-party candidate filed, next month's general election will be a mere formality for Slay.

The aldermanic president runs meetings of the Board of Alderman and can vote on bills. The president appoints chairmen of the legislative committees and assigns bills to the committee of his or her choice.

Also, the president is one of three members of the Estimate Board, which controls city spending. The other members are the mayor and comptroller.

Thomas A. Villa has been aldermanic president for eight years but is stepping down.

Slay began his race even before Villa announced that he would not run again. Slay had lined up supporters across the city before most others even thought about running.

Slay expounded a theme of unifying the city. To that end, he cultivated support among black leaders and ultimately won a long string of endorsements, most notably Bosley's.

Some speculated that Bailey might have run much stronger had she started sooner. She entered the race literally at the last minute, urged on by colleagues who felt that a strong black candidate must make a run. …

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