Are candidates for the Board of Aldermen representative of their -

Are candidates for the Board of Aldermen representative of their ward's racial make up?

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. ( -- The deadline to file for one of the city's 17 open aldermanic ward seats passed at 5 p.m. on Friday, leaving many residents wondering if the new Alderman for their ward will represent the racial make-up of their neighborhood.

With 17 of the city's 28 seats open, Alderman Antonio French encouraged candidates to step up through a message on his twitter account, which said, "If Ferguson taught us anything, it's the importance of having representative government."

As of Friday morning, many two ward seats that represent a mostly black population did not have any black candidates for the open positions.

Christine Ingrassia, the current representative for the city's sixth ward, was the only candidate in the race.

"I know there was a push to get someone to run against me, because there is a school of thought among some folks that I'm occupying a black seat," Ingrassia said.

The last census shows the population of the sixth ward as about 60 percent black. Similarly, Ward 20 also has a predominantly black population and did not have a black candidate running for the seat going into the deadline.

A late afternoon update from the St. Louis City Board of Elections said that just before the deadline, Ward Six had three candidates for the seat and Ward 20 had four.


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