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Politically Speaking: Alderman Krewson expounds on bid to succeed Mayor Slay

Lyda Krewson in a February 2017 file photo.
File photo / Carolina Hidalgo
St. Louis Public Radio

On the this edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome Alderman Lyda Krewson to the show for the second time.

The 28th Ward alderman is one of seven Democratic candidates running to succeed St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. We’re trying to get as many contenders on the podcast as possible before the March 7 primary.

The Moberly native has represented the city’s 28th Ward since 1997. Her ward includes some of the city’s most popular attractions, such as Forest Park, the St. Louis Zoo, part of  the Delmar Loop and the Central West End business districts.

Two years before her election, Krewson was thrust into the spotlight when her husband was killed as the family (including two young children) sat in their car outside their home. Since getting elected to the board, Krewson has often been at the forefront of hot-button issues. She was the primary sponsor of a citywide smoking ban and restriction of "dark money" in St. Louis-based races. And she recently sponsored a bill to add St. Louis to a local prescription drug registry. 


Since she announced her mayoral bid, Krewson has accumulated more money than her Democratic challengers. She’s also snagged endorsements from Slay and Gregory F.X. Daly, St. Louis Collector of Revenue. Those two could help Krewson gain crucial support in vote-rich south St. Louis.

A few highlights from the show:

  • As she campaigns around the city, Krewson said "job one" for the next mayor is "neighborhood safety." "When I ask voters 'what's on your mind? What do you want to make sure the next mayor knows?'" she said, "invariably, they start talking about neighborhood safety in some way or another. They talk about something that happened around the corner from their house or something that they're concerned about — that sort of thing."

  • She is not willing to commit to getting rid of St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson if she's elected mayor. "I am not of a mind that I'm ever going to go around saying who I would fire or who I would hire before I actually do it," she said. "I actually think that's unprofessional and bad business."

  • Krewson is in favor of St. Louis in some way uniting with St. Louis County. "I am in favor of some form of reunification," she said. "Back in 1876, we got divorced — the city and the county. It's time we get remarried. But we need to get engaged first. We need to get the prenup worked out. Because it's a complicated thing."

  • She said she appreciates Slay's endorsement, adding that St. Louis voters should "choose a mayor who's capable to choose the person that you think will be the most effective. I have a history of taking on the tough issues facing our community," she said. "Whether that is taking on big tobacco and passing the smoking ban; whether it is taking on the big drug companies and passing the prescription drug monitoring program; taking on the NRA all the way to the Supreme Court way back when we first had conceal and carry in this state." 

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Jo Mannies on Twitter: @jmannies

Follow Lyda Krewson on Twitter: @LydaKrewson

Music: “Be-Hi” by Thelonius Kryptonite & “Beautiful Day” by Thelonius Krptonite  

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.