Steve Stenger

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.

We know that you listen to us on air and check our website for news and information about our region. We hope that you look at our website every day, but we know that's not always possible. So, once a week, on Friday, we will highlight some of the website's top stories of the week.

Primary election 2014

Dooley And Stenger Defend Attack Ads On 'St. Louis On The Air'

(Campaign Photos)

Less than two weeks to go before the Aug. 5 primary election, a key question in the St. Louis County executive contest centers on how much muscle area unions will exert in their effort to oust incumbent Democrat Charlie Dooley.

(Campaign Photos)

St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley and his chief Democratic rival, Councilman Steve Stenger, agree on two things: Each says his attack ads are accurate and the other guy’s are not.

The two defended their accusations during separate, back-to-back appearances today with host Don Marsh on St. Louis Public Radio’s "St. Louis On the Air."  The sparring over ads reflected another common consensus: Their Aug. 5 primary contest will get even nastier.

The two ads in question attempt to link Stenger to sex trafficking and Dooley to FBI investigations.

The race for St. Louis County executive just may be the marquee in the August primary. We've extensively covered the candidates and the issues, but to listen to the candidates in their own words, click on the questions below.

What’s your strongest achievement while in office?

How would you improve the St. Louis County parks system?

National Church Residences

St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley’s latest attack ad focuses on a divisive south St. Louis County housing complex for the elderly. The ad is an attempt to attack Dooley's Democratic rival, Councilman Steve Stenger, and also appeal to elderly voters.

If history repeats itself, the elderly will be among the largest voting blocs in the Aug. 5 primary.

(via Flickr/lowjumpingfrog)

What issues are most important to you, ahead of the Aug. 5 primary election? What might prompt you to vote for a particular candidate?

"St. Louis on the Air" host Don Marsh is preparing to interview the candidates who are running for St. Louis County executive, in the contested races in the Democratic and Republican primaries, and we invite you to share questions you would like Marsh ask the them.

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