St. Louis County
9:13 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

St. Louis County Council To Set Aug. 5 Election To Fill Burkett's Post

The St. Louis County Council is on track to set Aug. 5 as the special-election date for voters in the council’s 2nd District to choose a successor to Democrat Kathleen Kelly Burkett, who died earlier this month.

At the behest of County Executive Charlie Dooley, Council Chairwoman Hazel Erby introduced an ordinance Tuesday to authorize the special election on Aug. 5, which also is the date for Missouri’s primaries. 

Kathleen Burkett
Kathleen Burkett
Credit Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

Dooley told the council that conducting the special election on that date made sense because the county would incur little additional cost. Council members indicated that they agreed; the council has until late May to act to set the special election date, members said.

Once the council gives its final approval, and Dooley signs the measure, the county’s political parties will each choose a nominee.  The victor on Aug. 5 will serve out the rest of Burkett’s term, which runs through 2016.

In his formal request, Dooley added that he was acting “with a heavy heart’’ because of the death of Burkett, a longtime friend and ally.

Burkett, 68, died April 6 after a year-long bout with cancer. An Overland resident, she had represented the 2nd District since 2002 – with Dooley noting that Burkett also had first won a special election. 

She had been a veteran Democratic activist for decades and served as chair of the county Democratic Party for most of the 1990s. She was the first woman chair of county Democratic Party.