The longest-tenured member of the St. Louis County Council won't run for re-election.
Councilman Greg Quinn, R-Ballwin, said on Monday that he will not run for another term on the seven-person council. His term expires at the end of this year; filing for his seat begins Tuesday.
Quinn said after over two decades on the council, it’s time to move on to pursuits outside of politics. “While I’ve enjoyed my 24 years of public service, I just think it’s time for me to devote myself to other things,” Quinn said.
Quinn was first elected in a special election in 1990. Over the past few years, Quinn has routinely voted against some county contracts he says weren’t bid out properly. He was also a critic of some major council initiatives, including a foreclosure mediation program and a bid to combine city and county economic development agencies.
His biggest accomplishment, he said, was supporting Wildwood’s bid to incorporate as a municipality. That effort was ultimately successful, even though many county officials were opposed to the move.
“The vote actually ended up being in excess of 60 percent in favor of the incorporation,” Quinn said. “Even though county government generally was saying there wouldn’t be any money for services and other things, that has turned out not to be true.”
Quinn is the only current member to have served on the council when Republicans were in control. That’s perhaps a testament to how St. Louis County has become more Democratic over time. But he said relations between the council members of different parties have been good in recent years.
Case in point: Quinn and Councilwoman Colleen Wasinger, R-Town and Country, have voted with three Democratic members on some contested issues. That five-person coalition, for instance, stalled St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley’s ability to confirm members of the St. Louis County Board of Police Commissioners. (Dooley and Quinn got into a well-publicized spat over the issue.)
“When I first came on the council, the council was partisan,” Quinn said. “And I think that’s changed significantly over the years to the point where there’s a lot of times when Republicans and Democrats reach across the aisle and work together on things. And that just wasn’t the case for a long period of time.”
Quinn’s district, mostly western St. Louis County, is heavily Republican. He said that he expects Ballwin Alderman Mark Harder to run for the seat.
And while he isn’t completely ruling out another bid for office, Quinn said he’s fine with stepping aside for now.
“I have enjoyed public service. I feel it’s everybody’s duty in some way – maybe not necessarily running for elective office,” Quinn said. “I wouldn’t close the door, but right now I’m not really intending to do so.”