On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with Wesley Bell – just two days after his victory in the Democratic primary against longtime incumbent St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch.
As St. Louis Public Radio’s Rachel Lippmann reported earlier this week, Bell is now set to become St. Louis County’s first African-American prosecutor.
Asked what to make of his resounding win in a mostly white county, Bell said he expected to draw diverse support, but he was still “even more pleasantly surprised” by the large amount of support he received all over the county.
“Since I started into politics and just as a mantra through life, I believe in inclusion and working with people, and so we ran on a campaign of bringing people together, and we stuck with that,” Bell told Marsh. “We weren’t going to start with the negative and mud-slinging – we were going to keep it positive – and win or lose I’m going to stand by that.”
The on-air conversation took place exactly four years after the death of Michael Brown on Aug. 9, 2014 – and immediately followed a segment featuring the ongoing racial-equity work of Forward Through Ferguson.
“The fight must go on if we’re going to address these issues,” Bell said in reference to those efforts. “Criminal justice reforms, making sure that our courts are treating everyone fairly, making sure that our law enforcement, that we’re practicing community policing and getting out into our communities, and making sure that based on your ZIP code or your economic status that you’re not more likely to see the inside of a jail.”
Listen to the full conversation, which touched on everything from Bell’s previous court-related job experience, to the cash-bail system, to recidivism rates and the opioid crisis.
St. Louis on the Air brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh and producers Mary Edwards, Alex Heuer, Evie Hemphill and Caitlin Lally give you the information you need to make informed decisions and stay in touch with our diverse and vibrant St. Louis region.