No, Bruce Franks Is Not Running for Mayor

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Bruce Franks, center, at a memorial honoring Vonderrit Myers, who was killed by police in the city's Shaw neighborhood. - PHOTO BY STEVE TRUESDELL
  • PHOTO BY STEVE TRUESDELL
  • Bruce Franks, center, at a memorial honoring Vonderrit Myers, who was killed by police in the city's Shaw neighborhood.
Last night, social media was abuzz with news of write-in candidate for St. Louis mayor — Bruce Franks Jr.

The protester-turned-politician, elected to the Missouri House in a shocking do-over special election last September, fanned the fames yesterday, first by posting his interest in taking on Democratic primary winner Lyda Krewson on social media throughout the afternoon, and then apparently confirming that his interest was for real to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The write-in plan generated great excitement from progressives who'd backed Tishaura Jones, only to lose by just 888 votes in the crowded field. They believed they could beat Krewson in a one-on-one race — but Jones was barred by law from registering as a write-in since she'd run in the primary.

Enter Franks.

“I would’ve gotten behind Tishaura Jones, but because she can’t be a write-in, people started coming to me,” Franks told the Post-Dispatch. “I looked at the candidates left, and no disrespect to Lyda Krewson, because she’s a nice lady, I decided to do it because we need someone who can represent every part of the city.”

No less than former Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce (who's been critical of Krewson) suggested the fledgling campaign should be taken seriously.


But Franks announced this morning he'd had a change of heart.
So, that was fun, right?

St. Louis Public Radio's Jason Rosenbaum tweeted that Franks told him he didn't want to leave his house seat empty for a year and a half. Absent a commitment for a speedy special election to fill his seat, the mayoral run suddenly seemed like less of a good idea.
 Franks promised a video to explain his position in more depth. We'll update this post once he puts it live. (We also reached out for comment this morning, but haven't heard back yet.)

Franks posted this on Facebook around 10:20 a.m.:
I appreciate everyone's support, the reason I will not be running for mayor is, We have a republican governor who is the person that sets the special election that would happen if we won! My seat could remain empty for 1.5 years if he doesn't grant the special election, that would mean 1 less democratic seat, 1 less progressive voice, 1 less black voice and that would mean the 78th will be left with no representation.

I found out today for years governors have stalled on special elections for the opposite party which isn't right no matter who does it. I had a great candidate to follow me, but if not even given the chance to run I can't leave the 78th district hanging, with all of the love and support and hard work we put in, wouldn't be right or justifiable. Im not ok with the status quo never will I be. I didn't support Lyda Krewson not because she was a terrible person because she isn't, actually one of the nicest people I have met but because I feel the disconnect with the disenfranchised is a huge barrier, so when people say I didn't want to see a woman mayor, that's totally not true and disappointing to see me in that light.

I hope she is smarter on crime and cares about the root cause of crime. I hope that she works to have a police department Representative of the community in which they police, I hope that she can notice our youths silent cry for help, I hope that she cares about affordable housing , small businesses, and brining more black businesses to our community, i hope Lyda can have a comprehensive plan to help our homeless community. I pray that Lyda listens to the city, and the people in the community- All communities! I have always been or the people and always will be... I just want what's best for all of US!

Thank you for all the support and keep the excitement we have mountains to climb and the best way to do it is together.

Incidentally, anyone doubting whether a write-in candidate can win need only look to Detroit, which elected a write-in candidate in 2013. Mike Duggan had originally sought placement on the ballot, only to be disqualified for a lack of valid signatures. He doubled down and asked voters to write him in — and won by 20,000 votes.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at sarah.fenske@riverfronttimes.com


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