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Triplett's departure triggers open primary for 6th Ward

1:28 am on Mon, 11.19.12

As expected, Kacie Starr Triplett has officially resigned from the St. Louis Board of Aldermen. That means a special election will be held next year to fill out the rest of her term.

But there will be an open Democratic primary to replace Triplett, who stepped down Friday to take a position with the Behavioral Health Network of Greater St. Louis. That's a departure from recent special elections for aldermanic seats in the 5th and 27th Wards.

Since vacancies in those wards didn’t occur fewer than 180 days before a municipal election day, the city’s Democratic Committee chose its nominees in those special elections. 

But Mary Wheeler-Jones, the Democratic director for the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners, said an open primary will be held because Triplett resigned 109 days before the March 5, 2013, primary. The winner of the Democratic primary will move on to the April general election.

“So it can follow the same pattern of a regular election, but still be a special election,” Wheeler-Jones said. “It just falls within the time when we can have it in the spring with the other aldermanic elections.”

Sixth Ward committeeman Damon Jones already announced this week that he would run for the seat. The 6th Ward encompasses Lafayette Square, JeffVanderLou, Tower Grove East and midtown.

The city's March 5 primary will feature elections for mayor, comptroller and a number of seats on the Board of Aldermen.

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