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Politically Speaking: St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner On Why She Should Stay In Office

Kim Gardner began serving as the city's top prosecutor in January 2017.
File photo I Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner is the latest guest on Politically Speaking, where the Democratic official talked with St. Louis Public Radio’s Rachel Lippmann and Jason Rosenbaum about her re-election bid.

Gardner is running against Mary Pat Carl in the Aug. 4 Democratic primary. Carl recorded an episode of Politically Speaking that will be posted Friday. Those interviews occurred before Gardner made national news bycharging 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 Gardner talked about on the show:

  • How her office has handled diversion programs meant to serve as an alternative to incarceration. She also talked about efforts to shut down the city jail known as the Workhouse, which is supposed to happen by the end of the year.
  • Why she did not embrace an idea to have outside prosecutors look into instances when a police officer used deadly force. The Ferguson Commission suggested that the attorney general investigate instances of a police officer killing someone.
  • How the unsuccessful effort to prosecute then-Gov. Eric Greitens is affecting her bid for another term.
  • How protests decrying police killing Black people have affected her bid for reelection.

Gardner is a graduate of Webster Groves High School, where she was a state champion cross-country runner. She later earned an undergraduate degree at Harris-Stowe State University, as well as law and nursing degrees at St. Louis University. Gardner worked in the circuit attorney’s office for about five years.
She was elected to the Missouri House in 2012, representing a district that includes portions of central and north St. Louis. She left the Legislature in 2016 to run for circuit attorney and ended up defeating three other candidates in the Democratic primary, including Carl. Gardner then went on to win the general election.

The winner of the Gardner-Carl primary will take on Republican Daniel Zrdodowski in November. Since St. Louis is heavily Democratic, whichever Democrat prevails on Aug. 4 will likely win a four-year term starting in January 2021.

Follow Rachel Lippmann on Twitter: @rlippmann

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Music: “Hearts/Wires” by Deftones

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