28-Year Ferguson Prosecutor Ousted by Councilman

August 8, 2018

By Joel Currier

Robert McCulloch's 28-year run as St. Louis County's elected prosecutor came to a stunning end Tuesday when he was upset by a Ferguson councilman who promised to reform the criminal justice system.

Wesley Bell, 43, earned 57 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary, according to unofficial results. With no candidate from any other political party in the race, Bell will run unopposed in November.

"People say, ‘well you shocked the world.’ No. We shocked the world," Bell said to a crowd of supporters Tuesday night.

Bell said, "I don't believe in campaign promises. I believe in promises. So when we say we are going to expand diversionary programs, it's going to happen. When we say we are going to reform the cash bail program, it's going to happen."

This was the first time McCulloch had faced a challenger since the Ferguson protests that erupted over the killing of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer in August 2014. Protesters criticized his office for its handling of the grand jury inquiry into the killing of Brown. The grand jury brought no charges against Officer Darren Wilson.

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