ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR)-A crime involving a former Missouri governor is once again bring the safety of the city of St. Louis to the forefront of election conversation. Bob Holden, 63, left his downtown office Wednesday to walk to the Dubliner Restaurant when a man approached him with a gas can and asked for money. When the former governor reached for his money clip the man demanded the whole thing.
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President of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, Lewis Reed, who is challenging Mayor Francis Slay in the March mayoral primary, put out a press release Friday afternoon about the Gov. Holden incident, saying “crime is rampant in our city”.
Crime will be hot button issue in the mayor's race. Francis Slay's is aiming for as fourth term in office. A big part of his campaign pitch is that crime has dropped since he became mayor in 2001 and that the city is far more livable now than it used to be. But Reed says that the city's population has also dropped so that the rate of crimes per hundred thousand residents remains very high. Reed also notes that violent crimes tend to cluster in poorer, African-American parts of the city. He blames Mayor Slay.
Reed said, "You have to look and compare our crime numbers to crime numbers across the United States. When you take a look at our crime statistics as they compare to every place else across the United States, you find that we're not doing so great."
On the Jaco Report January 13th, Mayor Slay said, "Crime is too high in the city of St. Louis and our job is to make every neighborhood safe. Which is why public safety is our number one budget priority and always will be our number one priority and another reason why we wanted to make sure we got local control of the St. Louis Police Department."
Former alderman Jimmie Matthews is also running for St. Louis mayor.
Francis Slay For Mayor