No, no Maida Coleman.  Rather, I’m talking about Denise Watson-Wesley Coleman, the surprise candidate challenging incumbent  mayor Francis Slay in the Democratic primary.  As some of you already know, there are some suspicions that the last-minute entering in the race by a woman with the last name of Coleman was a shifty attempt to hurt Maida Coleman’s chances in the race.

(unsolicited advice below the fold)

So the Post-Dispatch yesterday penned an editorial basically suggesting that Denise Coleman seems like a genuine and earnest candidate.  I ran into Denise Coleman and one of her supporters at the rally for jobs and economic recovery yesterday (which, BTW, was a great rally) and I have to say that she seems very earnest to me as well.  I spoke mostly with her supporter who was getting information from rally participants, but while I was talking to her I thought of a way to test whether she was really a “stalking horse” working for Slay or a legitimate candidate.

So here is my suggestion.  Denise Coleman decided to enter the race against a well-funded Democratic incumbent who clearly is the pick of the local establishment.  For her to legitimately decide to do this, she must think that Mayor Slay is failing to fulfill his obligations as the mayor.  So, for Denise Coleman to show that she is a serious candidate and not merely a “stalking horse”, she needs to explain exactly why she thinks Francis Slay should not continue to be the mayor of St. Louis.  The more forcefully and effectively she criticizes Slay, the more she can dispel the perception that she is part of a plot to undermine Maida.  For example, if she continuously repeats on record that she thinks Slay’s handling of the public schools has been a disaster, this IMO decreases the odds that she is actually working for Slay.  At the very least, it would decrease the perception that she is working for Slay.

Denise’s supporter who I talked to yesterday was willing to criticize Slay’s handling of the public schools and the corruption on the police force.  But, of course, politicians can say anything to Joe Rally-Attender.  What the campaign really should do if they want to convince people they they’re not working for Slay is to issue repeated critical press releases explaining why Denise Coleman thinks Slay needs to go.  This would show that she really is inspired to bring change to St. Louis City Hall.