Steve Stenger

Rick Stream
Parth Shah | St. Louis Public Radio

Rick Stream, the Republican nominee for St. Louis County executive, is promising to use his influence to persuade the General Assembly to change state laws  to make it harder for communities to collect so much money from traffic violations.

Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

Actions often speak louder than words.

The region’s two major candidates for St. Louis County executive – Democrat Steve Stenger and Republican Rick Stream – play down any talk that their campaigns target women voters.

Both say they’re seeking support from any and all voters, regardless of gender, age, race or other demographics.

Jefferson County Recorder of Deeds Debbie Dunnegan Waters
Jefferson County website

Jefferson County Recorder of Deeds Debbie Dunnegan Waters says she likely would have been oblivious to the internet uproar over her Facebook comments about the president if she hadn’t set up a Twitter account a few months ago.

Waters claims that she had forgotten about her Facebook post – which appears to ask why the military hasn’t ousted President Barack Obama -- until she was at a radio station for an interview on Oct. 10.

Steve Stenger, Democrat, left, and Rick Stream, Republican, are running for St. Louis County executive.
Photos courtesy of the candidates

Steve Stenger, the Democratic candidate for St. Louis County executive, is entering the final weeks of the contest with more than twice the money in the bank as Republican rival Rick Stream.

In reports filed Wednesday, Stenger reported that he had raised $447,244 since the Aug. 5 primary and had $400,902 in the bank.  That compares to only $173,081 raised by Stream, who reported $155,068 on hand.

Stenger also has outspent Stream: $322,562 compared to Stream’s $246,512.

U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis City
Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated 5:50 p.m. Wed., Oct. 15)

The region’s most prominent African-American official -- U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay – has announced that he's no longer on the political fence, and now is endorsing fellow Democrat Steve Stenger for St. Louis County executive. 

Clay said on KMOX radio Wednesday morning that fellow African-Americans backing Republican Rick Stream were ignoring their best interests.

“It’s time for us to bring the temperature down and allow for us to make a rational decision,” Clay said.

St. Louis Public Radio aired the first public debate between two candidates for St. Louis County executive, Democrat Steve Stenger, left and Republican Rick Stream (right).
Rebecca Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis County’s two major candidates for county executive – Republican Rick Stream and Democrat Steve Stenger – engaged Tuesday in their most vigorous debate to date, tangling over guns, other social issues, their records and their different visions of what government can and should do for the county’s 1 million residents.

Stream called their contest “the most important race in the state of Missouri’’ on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Rick Stream, left, and Steve Stenger
Parth Shah | St. Louis Public Radio intern

This is where you can find the latest updates from the St. Louis Public Radio debate between St. Louis County executive candidates Steve Stenger, a Democrat, and Rick Stream, a Republican. The debate is being broadcast live on St. Louis On The Air from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday and rebroadcast Tuesday night at 10 p.m.

>> Live updates for mobile users

Rick Stream, left, and Steve Stenger
Parth Shah | St. Louis Public Radio intern

In their first of two debates this week, the two major-party candidates for St. Louis County executive — Republican Rick Stream and Democrat Steve Stenger — each portrayed himself as the true leader that the county needs at a time of job loss and social unrest.

Each also accused the other of being too close to the current county executive, Democrat Charlie Dooley.

State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City
File photo by Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated noon, Thursday, Oct. 9)

State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal is the star of Republican Rick Stream’s television ad, an unusual example of cross-party dynamics in the race for St. Louis County executive.  

Chappelle-Nadal, a University City Democrat, appears in an ad promoting Stream’s bipartisan credentials. 

African-American elected officials announce that they endorse Rick Stream, a Republican, for St. Louis County Executive. 10/1/14
Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

For some in both camps, the decision of a group of African-American Democratic officials to endorse Republican Rick Stream for county executive boils down to one word:

Payback.

Berkeley Mayor Ted Hoskins said as much when he explained at Wednesday’s news conference — which featured about two dozen north St. Louis County officials — that Stream’s conservative views and legislative votes aren’t the issue.

Rick Stream, left, and Steve Stenger
Parth Shah | St. Louis Public Radio intern

With the nationally watched unrest in Ferguson as a backdrop, St. Louis County’s contest for county executive may well live up to its hype as the region’s marquee contest on the Nov. 4 ballot.

And although Election Day is a month away, Republican Rick Stream and Democrat Steve Stenger, both St. Louis natives, already are running attack ads – a sign that their battle may be tighter than the county’s Democratic-leaning demographics might indicate.

Their pitches fit in with their parties’ traditional jabs:

police line ferguson 81814
Ray Jones | UPI

The St. Louis Economic Development Partnership is defending its decision to approve funds for “crisis communications” in response to the unrest in Ferguson.

Bill Greenblatt, UPI

St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch was helping Councilman Steve Stenger in his bid for county executive from literally the moment he started running.

McCulloch was the introductory speaker at the Affton Democrat’s campaign kickoff last year. He's contributed close to $100,000 in in-kind contributions to Stenger's campaign. And he's appeared in ads attacking incumbent St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley and praising Stenger’s promise to “clean up” St. Louis County.

Councilman Steve Stenger, D-Affton
Parth Shah | St. Louis Public Radio file photo

There’s no better confirmation that a controversy is affecting a campaign than when the targeted candidate faces the camera and simply talks about the issue at hand.

So it is with Steve Stenger, the Democratic nominee for St. Louis County executive. His first ad addresses what’s arguably his biggest political headache: Ferguson.

Rick Stream
Parth Shah | St. Louis Public Radio

State Rep. Rick Stream, the Republican nominee for St. Louis County executive, has fired off the first TV ad of the general election campaign.

And a chunk of  the 30-second spot is an attack against Democrat Steve Stenger, who currently sits on the County Council.

Rick Stream
Parth Shah | St. Louis Public Radio

State Rep. Rick Stream, the Republican nominee for St. Louis County executive, says that county Prosecutor Bob McCulloch should think seriously about whether he should remain in charge of an investigation into the Ferguson police shooting last month that set off weeks of unrest.

“I’m not calling on him to step aside,” Stream said in an interview. “But I do think, if a quarter of the population in the county has no confidence in your ability to do an impartial investigation, that’s something that should be seriously considered by the prosecutor. That’s his decision.” 

Steve Stenger, Democrat, left, and Rick Stream, Republican, are running for St. Louis County executive.
Photos courtesy of the candidates

St. Louis County executive candidates Steve Stenger and Rick Stream will face off in a public debate Oct. 14 hosted by St. Louis Public Radio in partnership with the University of Missouri–St. Louis. It is the first planned debate ahead of the Nov. 4 election.

Protests and chants came into the St. Louis County Council chambers Tuesday night.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

It’s been well over a month since a Ferguson police officer shot and killed Michael Brown. And for the most part, the St. Louis County Council was shielded from the unbridled anger over the 18-year-old’s death.

That reprieve ended on Tuesday.

The council’s chambers were packed with supporters of Brown and his family, with the vast majority of the crowd giving the county’s top executive and legislative officeholders a blazing array of criticism.

Parth Shah, St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated 5:37 p.m. Thurs., Sept. 4)

In political campaigns, the biggest spenders often win. But not always.

That ended up being a major theme in Missouri's Aug. 5 primary for which the final campaign-finance reports -- due Thursday -- showed stark contrasts.

St. Louis County Councilman Steve Stenger, now the Democratic nominee for county executive, heads into his fall campaign with roughly $285,000 in the bank and an even larger debt.

Councilman Steve Stenger, D-Affton
Parth Shah | St. Louis Public Radio file photo

Councilman Steve Stenger says St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley should have taken the county into a state of emergency at beginning of the unrest in Ferguson. 

Stenger, the Democratic nominee for county executive, said that move would have allowed Dooley to temporarily take control of the St. Louis County Police Department – which he said could have avoided a “leadership vacuum” throughout August.

Rick Stream, left, and Steve Stenger
Parth Shah | St. Louis Public Radio intern

The morning after their primary victories, the new nominees for St. Louis County executive – Democrat Steve Stenger and Republican Rick Stream – talked briefly before back-to-back appearances at a local television station.

Their cordial conversation is in line with what each says is a commitment to focus on the issues – not personalities -- over the next 88 days leading up to the Nov. 4 election.

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio's Chris McDaniel, Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum talk about the week’s politics.  This week, we dive into last night's election results.

The Politically Speaking crew broke down the results from Tuesday's primary elections. Among other things, the trio examined:

Steve Stenger celebrates his victory in the Democratic primary for county executive.
Chris McDaniel | St. Louis Public Radio

Even St. Louis County Councilman Steve Stenger seemed shocked by his huge margin of victory Tuesday over St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley in the Democratic primary.

“It certainly looks absolutely phenomenal,’’ Stenger told reporters, shortly before Dooley officially conceded.

Stenger won with 66 percent of the countywide vote, carrying most of the county’s 28 townships. But his electoral success could have repercussions this fall.

Jo Mannies/St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated 9 a.m.,Tues., Aug. 5)

As today’s voting gets underway, the two men competing in the region’s hottest primary contest – St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley and his Democratic rival, Councilman Steve Stenger – are busily scrounging up support.

Accompanied by his wife and newborn daughter, Stenger showed up around 8 a.m. this morning at his polling place in Affton to cast his ballot and begin a day filled with stops at polling places around the county.

Parth Shah, St. Louis Public Radio

By any conceivable measure, Missouri doesn’t have a particularly robust election cycle this year. But that doesn't mean that there aren't lessons to learn.

Even though this year's primary season featured fewer contested races than usual, the past few months still produced twists, turns and surprises. That’s especially true because a number of ballot initiatives were placed on the August ballot, making up for a relative dearth of competitive legislative contests.

Parth Shah | St. Louis Public Radio

If you have watched any television lately, you'll have seen the barrage of ads in the Democratic race for St. Louis County executive -- one of the major races on the Aug. 5 primary ballot. County Executive Charlie Dooley, the incumbent for the past decade, is arguably in the political fight of his life with County Councilman Steve Stenger. While Dooley and Stenger are duking it out, House Budget Chairman Rick Stream, R-Kirkwood, and Green Park Alderman Tony Pousosa are waging a below the radar campaign.

Meet the candidates for county exec

St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch
Courtesy of Bob McCulloch's office

St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch is confident enough about his own re-election that he’s taken the unusual step of using his campaign ads to promote Steve Stenger, a fellow Democrat running for St. Louis County executive.

On radio and on television, McCulloch is dedicating a few seconds in his 30-second ads to make clear that Stenger shares his view that “the conflicts and the corruption’’ in county government needs to end.

Every week, St. Louis Public Radio's Chris McDaniel, Jo Mannies and Jason Rosenbaum talk about the week’s politics.  This week the trio discusses the last-minute money surge to the state’s primary candidates, as well as key races in St. Louis. 

The Politically Speaking crew also talked about U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill’s big donation to the state Democratic Party and what it means for state legislative contests in the fall.

On the show:

Parth Shah/St. Louis Public Radio

Let’s not mince any words: If he's elected later this year, neither St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley nor Councilman Steve Stenger will have any power to alter Missouri’s abortion policies. 

The county executive essentially has no authority to enact or repeal restrictions on abortion – the state does. And it’s highly unlikely that Stenger's or Dooley’s power of persuasion will change the course of a Missouri legislature overwhelmingly opposed to abortion rights.

Parth Shah/St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated noon, Tuesday, July 29)

St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley is heading into the final week of his nasty primary with $140,000 more in his bank account than Democratic rival Steve Stenger.

That’s because Stenger has spent a lot more on TV ads in July than Dooley. Dooley’s edge means that he could fire back with a heavier counter-barrage of ads during the final days before the Aug. 5 Democratic primary.

Dooley reported $263,930 on hand as of Monday, compared to $123,564 for Stenger.

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