Last week, NGA director Robert Cardillo made public his preference for St Louis to be the site of his agency’s next new headquarters. As his justification, he cited a city that is more likely to attract and retain – also engage and entertain – the sort of employees the NGA is going to need in the next several decades.
His words were heartening. That is exactly the kind of city that I, and a very talented team, have been trying to build.
Although St. Louis is still very recognizably the city that I have represented in one elected position or another since 1985, it is also a city that has slowly won back some of its swagger as a place to start a business, to raise a family, and to walk and ride a bicycle to work. I love what we are becoming.
This past week, city voters were presented an opportunity to go a different direction: to start down a 10-year path that would have seen the city, inevitably, leave some people behind. Since rich people almost always turn out OK, the intended victims are easy to guess. City voters, by an overwhelming percentage and in the face of the most expensive negative campaign ever mounted here, refused to go along.
Election night on Tuesday was one of my proudest moments as mayor.
It was also one of my final nights staying up late worrying about election returns.
I will not be a candidate for mayor next year.
To forestall some questions:
- This is not goodbye. I am going to be mayor for another year. I will have a full and, likely, controversial agenda to complete.
- My health is fine.
- I told my family last night. I told my City Hall staff this morning.
- I do not have plans for what I will do next. Hillary Clinton has not asked me to be her running mate. St Louis Football Club has not named me its manager.
- I have not ruled out a run for another public office. I do have almost a million dollars in my campaign account and I will probably do some fundraising for issues.
- I have no intention of leaving office before my term is complete, which will mean a rigorous pair of primaries in March of 2017. I have not endorsed a successor, but I might.
I will be at work on Monday. And Tuesday. And Wednesday. And Thursday… because I am still going to be mayor. For another year.