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Aldermanic Candidate Arrested For Alleged Threat

February 25, 1987

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) _ Police arrested a man running for alderman after he allegedly barged into a radio station and threatened to shoot another candidate hours before the polls opened in the city’s primary election Tuesday.

In the primary, incumbent Mayor Carl Officer fought off a strong challenge from Clyde Jordan to win the Democratic nomination for the April 7 general election. The mayoral race includes three candidates who are convicted felons: Jordan and independents Raymond C. Cason and Charles Merritts Sr.

With 100 percent of the precincts reporting Tuesday night, unofficial totals had Officer with 7,079 votes to 6,123 for Jordon. Harold E. Franklin got 569 votes and Roosevelt Malone 512 votes. Republican Delores Turnbough was unopposed.

James Lewis, director of the election board, said an unprecedented number of police officers had been stationed at polling places because of the worries about violence and voter fraud.

Authorities said that shortly after midnight Monday, Tommy Dancy, 37, entered radio station WESL and threatened the Rev. Joseph Davis, the host of a call-in talk show. Davis has filed as an independent candidate for alderman from the same district as Dancy, a Democrat.

Davis said he was discussing the primary races with his guests and listeners when Dancy burst in. Davis turned over the show to someone else in the studio.

Police said they were called to the station and arrested Dancy without a shot being fired. He was charged with aggravated assault and released under a $100 bond, said Sgt. Anthony Vlahek.

Davis said that a couple of hours later, someone fired a number of bullets into his home. He said his wife, Ruby, was asleep on a couch beneath a window and was showered with broken glass. The exterior of Davis’ house was riddled with bullet holes.

The mayoral race in East St. Louis has drawn attention because of the background of some of the candidates.

Jordan was convicted in 1954 of forgery of government checks and mail fraud when he was a substitute postal clerk. Merritts was convicted in 1975 of perjury, extortion and mail fraud in connection with his position as president of the East St. Louis School Board. He later pleaded quilty to a charge that he tried to arrange the murder of Jordan, who also was on the school board. Cason was convicted with Merritts in 1975 of extortion.

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