ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) - Police Chief Sam Dotson has formally announced that he is running for Mayor of St. Louis. Mayor Francis Slay says he expects Dotson to resign from his role with the police force. Dotson seems to acknowledge Slay's request in a press release, "I am a full-time police chief and that will not change during this campaign."
Dotson says that, “Growing up in St. Louis makes this very personal for me. As a proud graduate of the once-great St. Louis Public School System, I know what we can accomplish when we work together as a city. I know we can be strong, but to be strong our city needs a strong mayor, a strong leader."
Mayor Francis Slay says that Police Chief Sam Dotson should resign if he decides to run for mayor. Slay decided to not seek re-election in 2017. The longest serving mayor in St Louis City history announced he would not seek a fifth term in office in April.
The Mayor's office has released the following statement about Chief Dotson's committee filing:
"Chief Sam Dotson has made no secret of his interest in running for mayor. I have told him that St. Louis must have a full-time police chief. While state law explicitly allows first responders to seek public office, it does not relieve them of their full-time job responsibilities."
"I want to be clear to the citizens of St. Louis that I will not condone a part-time police chief. Chief Dotson should be completely focused on the job he has. Our City deserves no less. Should Chief Dotson decide to become a candidate for mayor, I expect him to resign, for this City deserves a top crime fighter dedicated to the task 24/7."
Dotson released a statement about his run for Mayor shortly after Slay made this announcement. He part of the release says:
"Leading this police department will remain my number one priority. While my opponents will campaign by knocking on the doors of special interest groups and other big donors, I’ll be in your neighborhoods by day making sure that we take illegal guns off the street and put the criminals who menace our community behind bars. And by night, I’ll be on your doorstep asking you how we can move this city forward together."
The number of candidates seeking the title of Mayor is growing. There are only two candidates officially running for Mayor. Aldermen President Lewis Reed and 28th Ward Alderwoman Lyda Krewson have announced that they are running for the office.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the city’s collector of revenue, Gregory F.X. Daly, and have also formed mayoral committees. Others considering a run for St. Louis City's top office include 22nd Ward Alderman Jeffrey Boyd, 21st Ward Alderman Antonio French, Jason Hall of the St. Louis Regional Chamber and city Treasurer Tishaura Jones.