Jake Zimmerman

Former Cass County Prosecutor Teresa Hensley
Courtesy of Hensley's Twitter page

When Scott Sifton bowed out of the attorney general’s race last week, Democrats appeared to avoid a resource-draining primary battle between the Affton state senator and St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman. 

Well, at least for a few hours.

Before the preverbal ink (or, in this site’s case, pixels) dried on Sifton’s departure from the 2016 statewide scene, former Cass County Teresa Hensley announced she would enter the Democratic scramble for attorney. It showed that if the goal of getting Sifton out of the attorney general’s race was to avoid a primary, that plan didn’t really succeed.

Scott Sifton
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On this week’s edition of Politically Speaking, state Sen. Scott Sifton joins St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies to talk about his decision to scuttle his attorney general bid.

St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On this week’s edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum, Jo Mannies and Tim Lloyd welcome St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman to the show.

Zimmerman grew up in St. Louis County — attending Clayton schools — before attending Claremont McKenna University and Harvard Law School. He worked for Attorney General Jay Nixon and former Gov. Bob Holden before getting elected to a state House seat in 2006.

Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia
Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

This week’s edition of Politically Speaking uses the magical power of radio to speak with Sen. Kurt Schaefer from his office in Jefferson City. 

The Columbia Republican chairs the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, which makes him one of the most influential figures in the budget-crafting process. He’s also chairing a special committee looking into Gov. Jay Nixon’s performance during the unrest in Ferguson.

(Courtesy Zimmerman Campaign)

St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman has announced he’s running in 2016 for Missouri attorney general, setting up a primary with state Sen. Scott Sifton, a fellow Democrat.

In a telephone interview early Tuesday, Zimmerman said he was making his intentions public now because “2016 will be a critical year in Missouri politics.”

Sifton, from Affton, announced his candidacy a couple months ago. At present, the only announced Republican is state Sen. Kurt Schaefer of Columbia.

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger delivers his inaugural address on Jan. 1, 2015. Stenger is coming into office with an ambitious agenda to change St. Louis County government -- and the legislative alliances to help him out.
File photo by Bill Greenblatt | UPI

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger came to prominence by being a critic. 

From his perch as a county councilman, Stenger aimed unrelenting salvos at then-St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley. That served as the backbone of a campaign that ultimately ousted Dooley in a Democratic primary — and narrowly outflanked state Rep. Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood, in the general election.

Rebecca Smith, St. Louis Public Radio

This week, the Politically Speaking trio welcomes back state Sen. Scott Sifton. The Affton Democrat won election to the Missouri Senate in 2012 in a hard-fought race against then-Sen. Jim Lembke, R-Lemay. 

Most recently, Sifton, an attorney with Husch Blackwell, made waves in the Missouri Senate with his filibuster during the fall veto session of legislation mandating a 72-hour waiting period for abortions. He’s also been part of a bipartisan group of lawmakers calling for curbs on meals, travel and entertainment paid by lobbyists.

(Courtesy Zimmerman Campaign)

The tax status of a high-end retirement home in Kirkwood is no longer in limbo. St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman announced Friday that he has reached a settlement with Ashfield Active Living & Wellness Communities, which owns Aberdeen Heights.

The assessor’s office and the retirement home operator have agreed that 78.8 percent of Aberdeen Heights will be taxed—netting about $1 million a year for schools, fire departments and public works.

Zimmerman said $700,000 to $800,000 of that will go to schools.

St. Louis Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

St. Louis County residents might not know it, but two other countywide offices besides county executive are on the Nov. 4 ballot.

There’s been virtually no campaigning for St. Louis County prosecutor or for assessor.

Certainly county Prosecutor Bob McCulloch has been in the news a lot lately, but it’s not because he’s seeking a seventh term in the job he’s held since 1991.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

In some strange, alternate universe, St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman would be running for a third term on the St. Louis County Council. 

Back in the mid-2000s, the Olivette Democrat seemed to be on a collision course with Barbara Fraser, a fellow Democrat, for the 5th District council seat. But the two agreed on a deal: Fraser would run for county council while Zimmerman would run for Fraser's spot in the Missouri House.

St. Louis County Assessor's Office

The St. Louis County Assessor’s Office will undertake a review of all tax-exempt properties in the county to confirm their owners still qualify for the tax break.

Exemptions have been granted to thousands of non-profit groups because their properties are used for charitable, religious or educational purposes, but some of them no longer qualify, said County Assessor Jake Zimmerman.

via Wikimedia Commoms/RamblingGambler

St. Louis County and Pinnacle Entertainment have settled a dispute over how much the River City Casino in south St. Louis County has been worth for the past three years.

Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio

Tax Day can be a tough time for anyone, but it’s especially hard for seniors facing rising personal property taxes on a fixed income. That’s according to some local lawmakers who are asking the state to give seniors a break.

State Representatives Jill Shupp and Scott Sifton are pushing two bills in Missouri’s legislature to help seniors:

(via Flickr/ Daniel Morrison)

Voters in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas are choosing four new representatives to the Missouri House to take over for lawmakers who moved to different jobs.

The special elections are being held Tuesday.

Three people are vying to replace Republican Rep. Sally Faith, who resigned after being elected mayor of St. Charles in April.

(via Wikimedia Commons/RamblingGambler)

Updated at 5:20pm with comments from hearing, more details.

The board that hears appeals from St. Louis County taxpayers on the value of their home or business has reversed  its decision to reduce the value of River City Casino in Lemay.

(Courtesy Zimmerman Campaign)

For the first time in more than 50 years, St. Louis County has an elected assessor - not one appointed by the county executive.

Jake Zimmerman was sworn into office today following his election on April 5. Zimmerman says his priority is to build an accountable office that listens to the county's taxpayers.