Jamilah Nasheed endorses Tishaura Jones for St. Louis mayor

From the St. Louis American

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State Senator Jamilah Nasheed has endorsed Tishaura O. Jones for St. Louis mayor in the March 7 Democratic primary election.

tishaura-jamilahnasheed-endorse“The candidate I plan to work to have our community unite around is Tishaura Jones,” Nasheed said in a statement.

“I have known Tishaura since we were colleagues in the Missouri Legislature more than six years ago. She has always, like me, been her own person. And also like me, she has always been unbought and unbossed in standing up and standing strong for the people.”

Jones, who recently was elected to her second term as St. Louis treasurer, represented the 63rd District in the Missouri House of Representatives from 2008 to 2012. She served as assistant minority floor leader in the state House during the 96th Missouri General Assembly, the first woman to do so.

“Jamilah is a tireless fighter for her constituents and a loud advocate for public policies informed by racial equity,” Jones reacted to the endorsement. “I am delighted to have her energy and ideas in our campaign.”

Nasheed said she had considered running for mayor in this cycle herself, but feared her candidacy would only cause more division in a crowded primary. In addition to Jones, there are two other serious African-American candidates for mayor, Lewis Reed and Antonio French, one serious white candidate, Lyda Krewson, and three perennial candidates running in the Democratic primary.

“As I looked over the large field of candidates, I felt that I could better serve by trying to bring unity to the community, rather than creating more division by throwing my hat in the ring amongst the many others,” Nasheed said in her statement.

“Her endorsement moves us closer to having a consensus candidate,” Jones said.

Nasheed – who grew up on the streets of North St. Louis and matured from street activist to elected official – said the “severe problems” that beset St. Louis, “such as crime, poverty, and racial division,” call for “leadership that is visionary, capable, and acutely attuned to the needs and aspirations of citizens, from the highest to the lowest rung of our community.”

She said she believes Jones will be “a mayor of this caliber.”

She said her years dealing with city leadership as a state official convinced her of “the great difference the mayor makes to the growth and progress and prosperity of the city.” She understands, with the mayoral seat being open for new leadership for the first time since 2001, that “a new mayor can have a transformative impact.”

As an African-American woman, she said, she also appreciates the opportunity to help make history. St. Louis has never elected a woman mayor, and Jones is the only black woman in the race.

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