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Politically Speaking: Curtis Faulkner on his bid to snag the 4th District for the GOP

Curtis Faulkner
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio
Curtis Faulkner

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome Republican Curtis Faulkner to the program.

Faulkner is the Republican nominee for the 4th District St. Louis County Council seat. He’s running against state Rep. Rochelle Walton Gray, a Blackjack Democrat who trounced incumbent Councilman Mike O’Mara earlier this summer. Walton Gray appeared on the podcast after her August primary victory.

Faulkner lives in unincorporated St. Louis County. He’s the founded of the Juneteeth Heritage and Jazz Festival. And according to his campaign literature, he’s produced concerts and festivals that have raised more than $2 million in scholarships and grants.

Faulkner has some Democratic roots: He was co-chair for Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaign in Tarrant County, Texas. But he decided to file as a Republican, primarily because he felt that O’Mara would encounter substantial opposition if he won his primary against Walton Gray.

Here’s what Faulkner had to say during the show:

  • One of his big priorities if he’s elected to the County Council is revitalizing Jamestown Mall. That shopping facility has been closed since 2014, and St. Louis County policymakers have been trying to figure out way to redevelop it.
  • Even though the 4th District is heavily Democratic, Faulkner says he’s built the relationships over the years needed to break the partisan mold. “Parties, yes, in past times have meant a lot,” Faulkner said. “But I think they’ve dissipated, particularly in the black community.”
  • Faulkner said he’s “had a groundswell” of support, particularly among “white Democrats in the district.” He said some of the people who supported O’Mara are receptive to his candidacy.
  • Another priority of Faulkner’s is to help bring the school districts in the 4th District back to financial solvency. Faulkner has spent a number of years serving on boards and committees within the Hazelwood School District.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter: @jmannies

Music: “Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains)” by Arcade Fire

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
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.