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Voters reelect St. Louis Circuit Attorney Gardner, Treasurer Jones and Sheriff Betts

Voters reelect St. Louis Circuit Attorney Gardner, Treasurer Jones and Sheriff Betts

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ST. LOUIS — Democratic incumbents cruised to victory over Republican challengers in Tuesday’s elections for city prosecutor, treasurer and sheriff.

City voters, as expected, gave new four-year terms to St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner, City Treasurer Tishaura Jones and Sheriff Vernon Betts.

Gardner picked up 74% of the votes; Jones had 78% and Betts received 81% of ballots cast, according to unofficial final results.

Gardner, 45, who took the Democratic primary in August over a former assistant prosecutor, sought to fend off Republican political newcomer Daniel Zdrodowski, 31, a lawyer in private practice who ran unopposed in the GOP primary.

Kimberly M. Gardner

St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Kimberly M. Gardner speaks at a news conference outside the Gateway Arch on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020. (Robert Cohen, rcohen@post-dispatch.com)

Gardner, the first Black woman elected St. Louis circuit attorney, pledged to continue fighting for equality and criminal justice reforms in St. Louis, a platform that swept her into office in 2017 as part of a wave of progressive prosecutors elsewhere. In her first term, Gardner sought to prosecute a sitting governor, charged several police officers with crimes and keeps a secret list of officers whose police work she doesn’t trust. She also faced a barrage of criticism from Republican politicians, including President Donald Trump, over her decision to charge a Central West End couple for brandishing guns at racial justice protesters.

"I want to thank the voters of the city of St. Louis for their steadfast support of reforms that will make our city more just and fair for all of our residents," Gardner said in a statement. "Now it is critical that we work together to make our community the place it can be."

Tishaura Jones

St. Louis Treasurer Tishaura Jones after a news conference on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017, in St. Louis. David Carson, dcarson@post-dispatch.com

City Treasurer Tishaura Jones, 48, was seeking her third term as treasurer and has said she was strongly considering another run for mayor against Lyda Krewson next year. Jones beat longtime Alderman Jeffrey Boyd in the Democratic primary for treasurer. Her Republican opponent in Tuesday’s general election was real estate investor Robert Vroman, 39. Also running was Green Party candidate Don DeVivo.

Jones touted her efforts to modernize the office by enabling drivers to pay parking meters with credit and debit cards or through smartphone applications.

Betts, 68, the Democratic incumbent, sought his second term running an office that provides courthouse security and transports inmates. He ran against Republican opponent John Castellano III, 47, a longtime city sheriff’s deputy who sued Betts and the department in 2017 alleging Betts twice passed over him for a promotion to sergeant in favor of less-qualified Black candidates. Betts is Black. Castellano is white.

St. Louis Sheriff Vernon Betts

St. Louis Sheriff Vernon Betts

Betts has said he has made the office more efficient, outfitted some deputies with body cameras, and hashed out an agreement with Metro Transit to allow off-duty deputies to provide security on trains in the city.

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