ST. LOUIS — On Thursday, Alderwoman Cara Spencer announced her plans to run for St. Louis mayor, setting up a 2021 rematch with Mayor Tishaura Jones. The two ran against each other and were only separated by 2,300 votes.

“It was so close,” Spencer told Fox 2 Thursday. Spencer said she’s running again because she believes “in safer communities in St. Louis.”

As Alderwoman, Spencer pointed toward her fight against an effort to privatize Lambert International Airport by issuing an imminent domain proposal for the Famous Barr building and her gun safety efforts in her downtown ward.

“We got creative when it came to gun violence,” Spencer explained. . “Restricting the open carry of firearms has made a big difference in the downtown area and our communities in just the physical guns you see.”

Voters said a big issue for them is cleaning up downtown St. Louis. 

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Elyse DeLoach recently moved from Florida.

“There’s like a divide in a way,” DeLoach said when talking about downtown. ““How do you make [downtown] better for everybody as a whole, not just a certain class of people?”

Shaun Broeker works in downtown and lives nearby. He welcomes fresh ideas and competition in next year’s race.

“Anybody that could come in and help with public safety and foot traffic in downtown to create a better space is someone I’d be in support of,” Broeker explained.

Spencer admits there is a lot of work to do. One issue she’d like to tackle is making sure residents stay in the city.

“If we cannot keep our residents from moving out of the city, then we are not doing our job,” Spencer told Fox 2.  “My goal will be to keep every resident here to grow that population instead of continuing to see it decline.”

Recent census numbers showed St. Louis’ population decline.