Accusations of Racism Stir Aldermanic Campaign

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Kessler
​It had to happen sometime.

Robert Joiner reports in the St. Loius Beacon that Alderman Kacie Starr Triplett is accusing her primary-election opponent of playing the race card in his efforts to unseat her.

Triplett who is black, is running her Democratic-primary campaign against Brad Kessler, who is white, to maintain control of her seat representing the city's 6th ward, which covers the westernmost part of downtown and the easternmost part of midtown. The district is home to neighborhoods that are both black and white, with a 50-50 racial split.

In a mailer sent out a few days ago by the Kessler campaign, a photo of the candidate appears next to the text: "KESSLER He's one of us!"

Writes Joiner:

Triplett says she is offended by the message because she says it amounts to code words to swing white voters to Kessler corner ... She argues that the "He's one of us" reference is aimed at swaying white residents in the ward.

"It's racial politics," she says. "It has no place in the 6th Ward because the ward is progressive."

Kessler told the Beacon that there were no racial motivations behind the mailer. He also said he never reviewed the mailer himself. But Howard Wynder, Kessler's campaign manager, says the message was a big mistake, not least because all the photos in the mailer depict Kessler interacting with white males. "When I saw that mailer I thought it was stupid," Wynder told the Beacon.

The race between Triplett and Kessler will be one to watch as the primaries near. The 30-year-old Triplett -- the youngest active alderman -- comes from a political family and remains the favorite, having secured the endorsement of Board President Lewis Reed (who is from the neighborhood). Kessler, a lawyer-turned-artist who appeals to downtown loft types, is an interesting candidate who's gotten lots of media attention for his quirky lifestyle. He'll need to gain momentum between now and March 8 for a victory.

UPDATE: This post was updated to note that Kessler told the Beacon he did not review the mailer before it was sent out.

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Mom's Basement
Mom's Basement

I deplore her actions. People that "adore" and "appreciate" Kacie haven't really dealt with her about the surrounding issues in that community. Crime, homelessness, and quality of life. She is more interested in what can the community do for Kacie than what can Kacie do for the community. And again, why won't she debate Kessler? What does she have to hide?

Sonia Wagner
Sonia Wagner

I disagree whole-heartedly. I have worked with delinquent youth for over a decade and am active in my community. Kacie does A LOT to meet the needs and requests of the residents in her ward. If she loses to Kessler, you sure as shit better believe I'll be there to run against his ass at the end of his term.

Sonia Wagner
Sonia Wagner

Kacie is my alderwoman and myself, and many others, adore and appreciate her and all she has done for our ward, and will be voting for her. I personally don't think she has anything to worry about.

Stevepohlman
Stevepohlman

all we need now is the obligatory Keil comment

billhannegan
billhannegan

Kessler is getting suckered into fighting Triplett's fight. He should fight her on issues instead. Like what did Triplett do to fight the new lead rules which can add 40 percent to the cost of having any work done on any residence in the 6th ward?

billhannegan
billhannegan

Does Kessler support an exemption from the City smoking ban for "over 21" establishments like bars and casinos?

Hwynder
Hwynder

The problem here is that neither Brad nor I saw the final layout of the mailer until it was already in the mail. This was someone trying to do more than they should have and rushing before fully comprehending how some of the mailer could be misinterpreted. Or used to be divisive. Both kacy and our team realize that race is not the question here. The question is effective leadership to make our ward safe and progressive. As for the question of my work as campaign manager, I’m certainly not a professional campaign manager. But Brad Kessler offers leadership and intelligent ideas. He doesn’t need a handler and manager. We talk and have been discussing the problems in the ward long before this campaign began. I respect his mind and his resolve. I also have a full time job managing the Developmental Biology Core research lab at Washington University School of Medicine. Although I canvassed and knocked on doors for President Barrack Obama’s campaign my involvement has been limited since doing voter registration for CORE and organizing migrant workers for SNCC in the 60”s. I am truly sorry that we seem to be losing sight the issues that will shape our lives and our ward for the next 4 years and beyond. I hope that this will not become a campaign that becomes divisive along racial lines rather than a question of leadership to address important issues that affect us all .Howard Wynder

anonymous
anonymous

"race card"?

eat a dick, tucker

Mary
Mary

Attn: Readers: Be sure to read "Mom's Basement" comments. KACIE STARR TRIPLETT LIVES IN HER MOM'S BASEMENT........and also at 5411 Idaho!!!!! No wonder she's always unavailable when I've called. Maybe Mr. Slay can give her a "special assistant" job, like he gave STEVEN GREGALI when she loses the election.

Mary
Mary

"He's one of Us" simply means that he is an articulate, hard-working, resourceful candidate.....unlike you, Kacie, who told me to fight my own battle re: the parking lot at 20th/Washington. Remember, Kacie Starr Triplett? I'll never forget.

Rudy Moore
Rudy Moore

I hope Steven Van Zandt got one of those mailers, because he'd be a sure vote.

KittyLitterKing
KittyLitterKing

"It's racial politics," she says. "It has no place in the 6th Ward because the ward is progressive."

I'm glad to see race-based politics are okay in non-progressive areas.

Mom's basement
Mom's basement

Hey, at least Kessler doesn't live in his mom's basement like the current alderwoman.Or does she live at 5411 Idaho IN A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT WARD?

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