Another glass ceiling for HBCU (Historically black colleges and universities) graduates and Hampton University has been shattered in the public office. St. Louis Treasurer, Tishaura Jones will be the first Black woman to serve as mayor of St. Louis after defeating Alderwoman Cara Spencer in Tuesday’s general election.
Ms. Jones, the city’s treasurer, received about 52 percent of the vote over her opponent Alderwoman Cara Spencer’s nearly 48 percent, according to unofficial results posted to the city’s website. Ms. Jones will be sworn in on April 20. Ms. Jones, a Democrat, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday. Ms. Spencer, also a Democrat, conceded on Tuesday night and later congratulated Ms. Jones on Twitter, saying, “You have my support in making St. Louis the great city we know it can be.”
This was the first mayoral election under the city’s new election-law overhaul, known as Proposition D. It requires candidates to run without partisan labels, and the two candidates with the most votes in a primary in March would face each other in a general runoff election the next month.
Born in St. Louis to a former city comptroller, Jones studied at Hampton University in Virginia, returning to St. Louis upon graduating in 1994. Following a failed attempt to start a restaurant that left her bankrupt, she entered the world of nursing, graduating from the Saint Louis University College for Public Health with a Master of Health Administration in 2001 and working for Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital for two years. Jones entered politics in 2002, when she was appointed to the Democratic Party Central Committee for St. Louis’s eighth ward.
In 2008, she successfully ran for the Missouri House of Representatives, being elected to represent the 63rd district over independent candidate Nels Williams with 85.4 percent of the vote. After running unopposed for re-election to the House in 2010, Jones ran for St. Louis Treasurer for the first time in 2012, and won the general election with 77.9 percent of the vote. She was re-elected as treasurer in 2016 and 2020.