One of the most crime-ridden cities in the country is preparing to elect a new mayor for the first time since 2001.

FOX's Jeff Monosso reports: 

FBI statistics have  for years ranked St. Louis as among the nation's most violent cities. It's where candidates in today's mayoral primary election say their focus will be on reducing crime and revitalizing the city's north side.

12 candidates, including seven Democrats and three Republicans, seek to replace Democratic Mayor Francis Slay, who's not seeking a fifth term. He's endorsed Alderman, Lyda Krewson:

(Slay) "When Lyda's husband was killed in a car-jacking, she didn't pack her bags and run from the city. She immersed herself in her community to help make St Louis a better place to raise a family."

The Democratic winner of today's primary is already the likely favorite in the April 4 general election.

Jeff Monosso, FOX News.

Follow Jeff Monosso on Twitter: @JeffMonosso