Nixon, Slay put aside old tensions as the governor backs the mayor's re-election bid
There have been times when Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, both Democrats, were not on the best of terms.
But today apparently isn’t one of those times.
The two have tangled in recent years over historic tax credits, local control of the St. Louis Police Department, and even Slay’s kind words a while back about a certain Republican – Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder – who has been a thorn in Nixon’s side.
But Friday, any old tensions were forgotten as Nixon released a statement endorsing Slay’s bid to be St. Louis’ first four-term mayor.
“Francis Slay has dedicated his professional life to making St. Louis a better place to live, raise a family and do business,” the governor said. “As a result of the mayor’s tireless commitment to the city and its people, St. Louis is clearly moving in the right direction, and we must keep going. That’s why I’m proud to support Mayor Slay in his re-election campaign and I look forward to continuing our partnership to bring new jobs and educational opportunities to St. Louis.”
Nixon’s endorsement comes as Slay’s March 5 primary contest is heating up with Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed.
The governor generally has stayed out of local primary battles. His decision to make clear support for Slay would appear to highlight the mayor's stature statewide.
Nixon actually is the last of four statewide Democrats to back Slay. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, state Treasurer Clint Zweifel and new Secretary of State Jason Kander endorsed the mayor some time ago.
Other prominent endorsements for Slay have come from U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley and the St. Louis Labor Council.
Nixon and Slay were on the same side last summer when both endorsed Clay's primary re-election, as he battled fellow Democrat Russ Carnahan, who had in effect lost his congressional seat during redistricting.