Residents of Ferguson, Missouri, re-elected Mayor James Knowles III, the same man who was the city’s mayor during the 2014 shooting death of unarmed Black teen Michael Brown. This will be Knowles’ third term in office.
According to USA Today, Knowles barely won, having nearly 500 more votes than Ella Jones, 62, a former Mary Kay Cosmetics sales director and current City Council member. Had Jones won, she would have been the city’s first Black mayor in the community’s 122-year history.
Knowles, who defended the police after Brown’s death and denied that his city has a race relations issue, has won two elections since the Ferguson protests erupted.
Knowles, who is white, told voters after he won that in order to thrive, the city needed “continuity,” USA Today noted.
“Ferguson has a bright future, but like I’ve said (before) we have to be careful with how we spend our money,” he said.
“We have to get the best return on all our investments. We have to make sure that we don’t repeat errors of the past. I think a lot of that comes with experience.”
Jones, who ran her campaign on police reform and change, blamed her loss on voter apathy.
“People have to want change,” Jones said. “You can’t make change for them.”
It’s important to note that 67 percent of Ferguson’s population of 21,000 people are Black.