Mark Harder

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Since St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke announced a deal to build a stadium in Inglewood, California, the future of football in the Gateway City has been murky at best. 

Councilman Mark Harder, R-Ballwin
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

On this week's edition of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio reporters Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome the newest member of the St. Louis County Council -- Councilman Mark Harder. 

The Republican from Ballwin grew up in Normandy and eventually became a real estate professional. He was elected to the Ballwin City Council in 2011 and worked to mitigate the impact of a grocery store in the West County suburb.

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.

Steve Stenger holds his baby girl Madeline Jane as wife Allison looks on while taking the oath as the new St. Louis County Executive in Clayton, Missouri. Federal Judge Ronnie White administered the oath to Stenger.
Bill Greenblatt, UPI

With his county still coming to grips with the tumultuous aftermath of Michael Brown’s death, Steve Stenger was officially sworn in Thursday as St. Louis County executive.

Flanked by his wife Allison and holding his daughter Madeline, the Affton Democrat became the eighth county executive in St. Louis County’s history. He said during his two-page inaugural address that business as usual in the county was over.

Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

In the west St. Louis County contest for the open 7th District seat on the St. Louis County Council, Ballwin Alderman Mark Harder has received the endorsements of a number of Republican heavy-hitters, including retiring Councilman Greg Quinn and state Auditor Tom Schweich. 

But his chief rival for the GOP nomination – Ellisville Mayor Adam Paul – believes that support may backfire and help Paul, who embraces his own renegade image after he beat back an impeachment effort in 2013.