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Politically Speaking: Mary Pat Carl On Her Rematch With St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner

Mary Pat Carl
File Photo | Evie Hemphill
St. Louis Public Radio
Mary Pat Carl

Mary Pat Carl returns to Politically Speaking to talk with St. Louis Public Radio’s Rachel Lippmann and Jason Rosenbaum about her bid for St. Louis circuit attorney.

Carl is running against incumbent Kim Gardner. Carl and two other Democratic candidates lost to Gardner in the 2016 race to succeed Jennifer Joyce. You can listen to Gardner’s episode by clicking here. Those interviews occurred before Gardner made national news by charging Mark and Patricia McCloskey with unlawful use of a weapon when they confronted protesters outside their home. That issue will be addressed in a story next week.

Here’s what Carl talked about on the show:

  • Why she ended up leaving the circuit attorney’s office after Gardner took over. One of the big issues in the contest is the turnover in the office and whether that’s influenced how people are prosecuted.
  • Whether she'd want to bring in an outside prosecutor to investigate instances in which a police officer uses deadly force. The Ferguson Commission suggested that the attorney general look into such cases, but local prosecutors generally haven’t embraced that idea.
  • Whether the St. Louis jail known as the Workhouse should be closed. If St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson signs a recently passed bill, the Workhouse is to close by the end of the year.
  • Whether she’s at a disadvantage in this contest if Gardner has the support of Black and white progressive voters. Gardner swept majority Black wards in 2016 and also had support in majority white wards in south central parts of the city.

Carl is a Florissant native who initially started her prosecutorial career in St. Clair County, Illinois. She was hired by the circuit attorney’s office in 2003. She has prosecuted cases of domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse. Carl was the circuit attorney’s chief homicide prosecutor.
Carl came in second in the 2016 circuit attorney’s contest, with about 23.5% of the vote compared to Gardner’s 46.6%. Carl left the circuit attorney’s office in 2017 to become a partner at Husch Blackwell.

Follow Rachel Lippmann on Twitter: @rlippmann

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Mary Pat Carl on Twitter: @MaryPatCarl

Music: "Eye of the Needle" by Sia

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