St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell running for U.S. Senate

Wesley Bell
Wesley Bell(KMOV)
Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 8:00 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 7, 2023 at 2:25 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

A familiar face will now enter the race in Campaign 2024 as St. Louis County Prosecutor Wesley Bell is launching his bid for Missouri’s U.S. Senate seat.

The Democrat is fighting for Republican incumbent Josh Hawley’s seat.

First, he’ll have to get past Democrat Lucas Kunce, who is making his second run for the U.S. Senate.

Bell, a Hazelwood East graduate, made history as St. Louis County’s first black prosecuting attorney in 2018.

Download the KMOV News App

“This is a unique place, with 55 police departments, 88 municipalities,” Bell said. “We work with our partners in meaningful ways to help do things Missourians, everyday Missourians want and I think Washington needs more of that and less of folks like Josh Hawley.”

He sat down with News 4 inside the St. Louis County Library in Clayton Wednesday. He said he wants to give Missourians a voice in Washington D.C. He said Hawley is only interested in fame and further dividing the country.

“We are going to every corner of Missouri. rural, small cities, large cities. We will not concede any places,” Bell shared. “When I talk to Missourians, they want people who will reach across the aisle and work with anyone who will improve their lives and that’s what I intend to do.”

Wesley Bell has been in the headlines as of late, for involvement with a transition of the St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s Office, after then-CAO Kim Gardner’s resignation last month. Some critics said Bell illegally attempted to helm the office.

“I think that would be the first time someone tried to do something illegally and asked the judge for permission,” Bell shared. “We were asked by the mayor and her transition team, including reps from City police, judges, I was asked to reach out.”

Bell said he and his office understand the city and county share defendants and how that impacts the families affected by those crimes. He said when he was contacted by Mayor Tishaura Jones, he felt obligated to do so.

“We wanted to help in that transition however we could and I think the Governor made a very good choice in Mr. Gore, and we are helping him, and we will continue to help him,” Bell explained. “We have attorneys down there right not because we understand that public safety in St. Louis City, impacts safety in the county and region so we are in to help however we can. I think that kind of approach, of working together is what we need in Washington.”

Bell’s resume includes professor at St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley, judge, and former Ferguson City Council member.

He won the St. Louis County Prosecutor’s office in 2018 after taking down seven-term incumbent Bob McCulloch.

Since then, Bell said his office has been aggressive on prosecuting serious and violent offenders. He listed several accomplishments including the creation of a violent crimes unit, a dedicated domestic crime unit, and satellite offices helping police officers stay local and active on their streets.

Bell was quick to point out, there is another side to addressing crime in St. Louis County. He’s proud of his work to expand diversion and treatment programs for low level, non-violent offenders. He said this is one reason he wants Missourian’s vote in November 2024.

I’m a data person. In the buckets of those people we have treated, a 90% success rate. So what we know is when people are given the tools they need to thrive, they do. We can do two things at once and that’s the approach we will take to the US Senate.

Anyone who watches Bell’s new campaign video will see at the end, it states, Paid for by Bell for Missouri, Approved by Wesley Bell.” When asked for specific backers, Bell’s campaign said, “We’ll file reports with the FEC at the end of the quarter, but our campaign is funded by the folks all across this state who want a senator who will work for them.”

The last Democrat to win a senate race in Missouri was Clair McCaskill in 2012. Hawley defeated her in 2018.