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Politically Speaking: Candy man Andy Karandzieff chews on his unusual mayoral bid

Andy Karandzieff in 2017
Carolina Hidalgo I St. Louis Public Radio
Andy Karandzieff

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Rachel Lippmann welcome mayoral candidate Andy Karandzieff to the program.

Karandzieff is the owner of Crown Candy Kitchen, a culinary institution on St. Louis’ north side. He’s running as a Republican, though he freely admits his candidacy is more a publicity stunt.


After St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay announced he wouldn’t run for another term, Karandzieff joked on Twitter that he was considering entering the fray. He followed through by paying the roughly $1,300 filing fee.

Karandzieff, though, is deadly serious about making life better for residents in north St. Louis, where he's lived since 1983. He’s squaring off against Andrew Jones and Jim Osher in the GOP primary.

A few highlights from the show:

  • He’s upfront about his motivations for running for mayor. "I was literally leaving the bank, driving past the Board of Elections, and there were parking spots, and I thought, why not?” he said. “It's cheaper than buying radio advertising, it's cheaper than newspaper advertising, it's cheaper than TV advertising, let's see what happens."

  • Karandzieff is unsure whether a Republican mayoral primary will impact the seven-way Democratic race. Many Republican residents cast ballots in the city's Democratic primaries, especially in places like southwest St. Louis where voter turnout is strong.

  • The new National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency facility will be located close to Crown Candy Kitchen. But Karandzieff isn’t sold that it will help his bottom line. “The NGA’s pretty self-contained,” he said. “So I’m not going to have a line of people coming in from the NGA to buy a malt or a BLT. Because they have their own cafeteria or bring their own food.”

  • In the spirit of last night’s mayoral debate (which Karandzieff did not attend, since he was “making bunnies all night,” a reference to the brisk business Crown Candy does in chocolate rabbits around Easter), Lippmann and Rosenbaum subjected the GOP contender to a lightning round where he reacted to different people and places. That includes French fries, a controversial subject in Karandzieff’s world.

Follow Jason on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Rachel  on Twitter: @rlippmann

Follow Andy Karandzieff on Twitter: @kzieff

Music: “Even Numbers” by They Might Be Giants

Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.
Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.