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Boyd joins crowd of Democrats competing for St. Louis treasurer

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 27, 2012 - St. Louis Alderman Jeffrey L. Boyd, D-22nd Ward, has announced that he is running for city treasurer -- becoming the fourth Democrat to challenge incumbent Larry Williams in the August primary.

That's assuming that Williams, in office since 1981, sticks with his plan to run for re-election.

Boyd said in a statement, issued Thursday night, that he will "restore public trust in the office that has been riddled by controversy."

Boyd cited his 23 years in the military and his eight-plus years as a city alderman, during which he said he helped snag close to $45 million in new development and capital improvements for his ward.

Boyd said he also will be able to work with the Board of the Aldermen and the three top city officials (all fellow Democrats) -- Mayor Francis Slay, Comptroller Darlene Green and Aldermanic President Lewis Reed -- "to ensure that the treasurer's office supports a collective vision set forth by city leaders."

"I believe that transparency in government is a must, which is something that has been lacking for years in the treasurer's office," said Boyd in a statement. "I will make sure that more dollars are distributed to the city's general revenue fund, which will ultimately mean less layoffs and furloughs for city employees as well as city services."

Boyd joins fellow Alderman Fred Wessels, D-13th Ward; St. Louis Democratic Party chairman Brian Wahby, who's also 7th Ward committeeman; and state Rep. Tishaura Jones, D-St. Louis.

The crowd of Democrats underscores the vulnerability of Williams and the power of the treasurer's office.

Among other things, the treasurer's office handles city investments and oversees 10,000 parking meters and a growing number of city-owned parking garages.

Boyd said his "new vision of leadership will provide new ideas and innovations, restore accountability and efficiencies and provide transparency and accountability for the taxpayers."

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.