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A challenger to the progressive “Squad” member, Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., wants to leave the private sector to run for Congress because he’s sick of crime in St. Louis.
“I was tired of crime and all the issues that I thought could be changed, if you had the right leadership at play,” Republican hopeful Andrew Jones told Fox News digital.
Jones, a businessman and father of two, filed for the 1st Congressional District Feb. 22 in Jefferson City.
Jones, who is married and raised in St. Louis, said residents of the Bush District felt there was “no hope.” He added that there are more criminals and “people who want to be anti-citizens” who have been “more emboldened” since Bush took office in 2020.
Raised in East St. Louis, the candidate claimed political leaders had done nothing to address St. Louis’ high crime rate.
CORI BUSH WON’T LEAVE ‘DEFUND THE POLICE’ SLOGAN EVEN IF DEMS FEAR IT WILL BE POISON IN POLLS
“You see crime escalating. It’s increasing. The philosophy of doing what you want to do and not fitting in is growing here in the metro area. Even though the city of St. Louis is talking about a reduction in murders and things of that nature, but we know those numbers are somewhat fabricated,” Jones said, promising he will challenge the statistics as part of his campaign.
In 2020, St. Louis saw the highest number of murders in more than 50 years, an unprecedented high following a growing push to defund the police. The city has recorded 263 homicides according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting System. In 2021, that number fell 26% to 195, a return to its average rate for the past five years.
According to the St. Louis Dispatch, St. Louis’s homicide rate led the nation’s major cities from 2015 to 2020. After St. Louis’s crime rate hit an all-time high, the mayor of the city, Tishaura Jones, was elected after vowing to enact progressive criminal justice reforms.
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The 2020 police killing of George Floyd sparked a national phenomenon to push for funding for police and criminal justice reform in major cities.
Bush, a Black Lives Matter activist, was at the forefront of the “Defund Police” movement.
The progressive ‘Squad’ member has remained committed to defunding the police despite growing concerns among Democrats about the political consequences. Bush recently indicated that she refuses to back down from the slogan “defund the police” even if it hurts Democrats politically.
On CNN’s “State of the Union,” anchor Dana Bash asked Bush to weigh in on the backlash she’s received since telling CBS News last week that “defunding the police has to happen”, so people should “suck it up”.
“Could these comments end up being hurtful to your fellow Democrats, politically speaking?” Bash asked the congresswoman.
Bush replied, “I think what we have to look at is the fact that I did it for Congress in 2020, and we are still fighting this same fight. We are always fighting to save black lives. This work was not done before my arrival here. »
President Biden spoke out against defunding the police amid soaring crime during his State of the Union address.
Jones, 61, said he ‘disagrees’ with Bush’s efforts to defund the police, arguing that an overwhelming majority of African Americans in St. Louis want representation and a police force appropriate. He says Bush’s push for defunding the police is not a representation of what the black community wants.
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“People want the police. They understand that there is no perfect system here. There are no perfect people and for sure things can be done that will be seen as bad, negative and downright criminals by individuals. But overall the police have done a fantastic job. We just have to support them and support them. But the overwhelming majority of people support the police,” said Jones, who showed up at the town hall of Saint-Louis in 2017 and 2021.
Jones said after hearing about the Black Lives Matter platform, he concluded the organization was an “affront to what black people stand for”.
“The courage of black people, historically, the production and the great value that black people had, the contributions for the family and… they are [BLM] against most of these things. So in terms of an organization, I think it’s a fraudulent organization,” he said.
After losing the mayoral election, Jones admitted he had no interest in pursuing politics, but said he was obligated to run against Bush.
“The more I listened to what she was talking about, the more I was like, ‘Man, this is absolutely something that’s counterproductive.’ … I said, ‘we have to do something about this.'”
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The primary election will be on August 2, 2022. Jones will be challenged in the primary by James Snider, according to Ballotpedia.
The general elections will take place on November 8, 2022.