St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner.
On Tuesday, in a Democratic primary that effectively decides the race for St. Louis Circuit Attorney, Kim Gardner won a landslide victory that all but cements her spot as the city's top prosecutor for a second four-year term.
First elected to the position in 2016, Gardner, the city's first Black circuit attorney, arrived on a crest of post-Ferguson energy for criminal justice reform. In that race, Gardner defeated a crowded field of candidates, including Mary Pat Carl, the city's lead homicide prosecutor.
The two prosecutors faced each other again in Tuesday's primary. According to unofficial results published by the city's election board, Gardner took more than 60 percent, topping Carl by more than 15,000 votes.
In remarks at an election watch party, Gardner told supporters she was "humbled" and that she saw her victory as a rebuke from voters against the forces of assorted criticism — amplified by President Donald Trump and Missouri Governor Mike Parson
— surrounding her decision to charge of the McCloskeys for confronting protesters with guns outside their Central West End mansion on June 28.
Addressing supporters at a watch party, Gardner thanked them and told the masked crowd that the victory "was against all odds," according to a video of the speech taken by Real STL News
"This was against all odds, against all odds of criticism, [against] people putting out misinformation," Gardner said. "When you have the President of the United States in a local election, then you have to understand, that the people overwhelming have said 'Enough is enough.'"
Gardner called the election a "resounding message" from voters: "They want St. Louis to have a reform-minded prosecutor."
In a tweet
, Carl, who had campaigned on her trial experience and criticized Gardner for the office's low conviction rate, wrote that she was proud of what her campaign had accomplished "under unprecedented circumstances."
"I wish Ms. Gardner a successful term," Carl's tweet continued. "I urge her to be transparent with the public, and build working relationships for a safer St. Louis."
Gardner will face the Republican nominee Daniel Zdrodowski in the November election.
Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at @D_Towski. E-mail the author at Danny.Wicentowski@RiverfrontTimes.com
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