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Krewson amasses most cash for primary battle to be St. Louis' next mayor

Susannah Lohr | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis mayoral candidate Lyda Krewson appears to be heading into the final stretch of the primary contest with a huge financial edge over her Democratic rivals.

Krewson’s latest report, filed Thursday, shows the 28th Ward alderman with $576,199.41 in the bank.  She began running TV ads on Wednesday. A spokesman says she will be running the ads until the March 7 primary. About a quarter of Krewson's money was raised during the last three weeks.

Her closest financial competitor may be Board of Alderman President Lewis Reed, who reported $254,529.68 on hand.

Alderman Antonio French reported $209.88 in the bank.

The other two major Democratic contenders – St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura Jones and Alderman Jeffery Boyd, 22nd Ward – appeared to have missed the 5 p.m. deadline for filing with the Missouri Ethics Commission.

Related: Read and listen to all of St. Louis Public Radio’s 2017 St. Louis election coverage

Candidates can mail in reports, but their postmarks can be no later than the day before the deadline.

The Ethics Commission posted reports by Jones and Boyd later Thursday night.  She reported $219, 306 in the bank, and no debt. Boyd reported $21,014 in the bank.

The contenders' bank accounts are key now, because it shows how much they have to spend on any TV or radio ads during the final weeks of the campaign, and whether they will need to do more fundraising. French's report shows that he already has amassed a debt of close to $40,000. Krewson reported no debt, while Reed reported a debt of $13,000.

However, Krewson's last two reports do not appear to include most of the costs of her TV ads, including airtime.

Although there are a handful of Republican and Green Party candidates for mayor, the Democratic victor in the March primary is expected to have a huge edge, because the bulk of the city's voters cast Democratic ballots. That's even true of Republican-leaning voters, when it comes to contests for city offices.  Because Missouri has open primaries, it's long been typical for many city GOP voters to participate in St. Louis' Democratic primaries.

Jo Mannies is a freelance journalist and former political reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.