Voters in St. Louis’ 8th Ward set to pick new Alderman

Voters in the 8th Ward will choose their new representative for the St. Louis Board of Aldermen on Tuesday.

Polls in the ward, which will represent parts of three neighborhoods around Tower Grove Park— Shaw, Southwest Garden and Tower Grove East — are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The seat has been vacant since November, when veteran Alderman Stephen Conway resigned to become the city’s assessor.

The special election pits Annie Rice, an independent, against Democrat Paul Fehler. They serve as committeewoman and committeeman for the ward. Rice is an immigration lawyer at Khazaeli Wyrsch, while Fehler is a data analyst.

Though the candidates rarely differed during several debates, according to media reports, there are some differences.

The candidates:

  • Rice, the independent, is an immigration attorney at a small law firm that also does civil rights work. Rice has said the Board of Aldermen needs more people who are versed in the law.
  • A data analyst who has worked with organizations like Forward Through Ferguson and the For the Sake of All report, Fehler is most known for producing the movie the Pruitt-Igoe Myth, about the north St. Louis housing project. He was selected as the Democratic nominee by St. Louis’ Democratic Central Committee.

Conway, the former Aldermen who picked up three term wins from 2007 to 2015, won unopposed in 2007 and 2011, but had to beat challenger Kevin McKinney by less than 100 votes in 2015.

Conway backed Lyda Krewson for mayor, but the 8th went resoundingly for Tishaura Jones in the primary. The ward backed Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential primary.

Voters should bring a government-issued photo ID with them to cast their ballot, but can bring other forms of identification if they do not have one, and will be asked to sign a statement acknowledging that the state can provide an ID for free.

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