St. Louis County Executive-elect Steve Stenger outspent Republican rival Rick Stream by more than three-to-one in what appears to have been the closest contest for that office in decades.
Stenger — a Democrat who won by less than 1,900 votes — spent $3.34 million in his successful bid for the post, according to the final campaign-finance reports due Thursday. Stream reported spending $959,395.
If it weren’t for voters in north St. Louis County, Democrat Steve Stenger wouldn’t have won the tight Nov. 4 contest for county executive.
Stenger lost most of his home turf in south St. Louis County to Republican Rick Stream.
Stenger carried north county strongly, but the percentage was far less than County Executive Charlie Dooley's performance in 201o. Even so, Stenger's north county showing -- despite opposition from north county Democrats -- proved crucial to victory.
When Ed Martin sent out an e-mail last week with the phrase “You’re A Loser” in the subject line, this writer thought the chairman of the Missouri Republican Party was being unneighborly.
In actuality, Martin – who, for full disclosure, lives in the same St. Louis neighborhood as I do – penned a letter on how it feels to lose an election. Even though his party experienced a very successful mid-term election cycle, Martin wrote that not every Republican candidate is basking in the glow of victory -- and they probably aren't feeling that great right now.
Wednesday on “St. Louis on the Air,” we gathered our political reporters to recap Tuesday’s election. The consensus: Republicans ruled the night.
“It was a Republican bloodbath, nationally and regionally,” said Jo Mannies, St. Louis Public Radio political reporter. “But it also shows that St. Louis County is definitely Democratic turf because the only two Democratic candidates — big names — who remained standing were Steve Stenger and Jill Schupp.”
The 2014 mid-term election is over, but its impact on local and state politics could be long lasting.
That’s because Republicans -- who were already in firm control of the Missouri General Assembly – expanded their numbers in the House and Senate in part because they were able to crack the Democrats' once-sturdy strongholds in Jefferson County, southeast Missouri and northeast Missouri. In St. Louis County, Republicans also came close to electing a county executive for the first time since 1990 when Democrat Buzz Westfall ended 28 years of GOP control over the office.
Democrat Steve Stenger eked out a narrow victory Tuesday for St. Louis County executive, becoming one of the few major Democratic wins – regionally or nationally.
After trailing for much of the vote-counting, Stenger ended up with an edge of 1,768 votes over Republican Rick Stream. That amounted to less than 1 percent of the roughly 294,000 votes cast.
"I want to say 'thank you' to the voters of St. Louis County who have placed their confidence in me to turn their county around, and to move our county forward and upward,'' Stenger said in a brief victory speech.
It’s somewhat instinctual for Missouri political reporters to describe every election as decisive, critical or groundbreaking. And to be fair, it’s not an unnatural impulse – since every Show Me State election year for the past couple of decades has featured a competitive statewide, U.S. Senate or presidential contest.
This year, though, state Auditor Tom Schweich likely won’t lose to his Libertarian or Constitution Party opponents, and the Missouri House and Senate will remain firmly in Republican hands. And there's no U.S. Senate contest.
Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander is estimating that slightly fewer than 40 percent of the state’s voters will show up at the polls next Tuesday, a lower turnout than in 2010 — when there was more at stake on the ballot.
Area election officials also are projecting lower turnouts, ranging from roughly 20 percent in the city of St. Louis to 25 percent in St. Charles County, 46 percent in St. Louis County and 47 percent in Jefferson County.