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Democrats have new majority on county council

Barb Fraser will unseat Kurt Odenwald on the council Tuesday.

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – New members of the St. Louis County Council were sworn in Monday, putting Democrats in charge for the first time since 2001.

When former State Representative Barbara Fraser, a Democrat, beat long-time Republican councilman Kurt Odenwald last November the council shifted.

Democrats now have a 4-3 majority, along with Democrat Charlie Dooley who was re-elected as the county executive.

Still, most council-watchers aren't expecting the council to behave that much differently then it did under a Republican majority.

"If you look at the services the county provides: police services, health services, roads, those are not issues that typically have a Democratic position or Republican position," says Terry Jones, a political scientist with the University of Missouri St. Louis.

Jones says the growing number of Democrats in the county probably affected the election, but doesn't expect that to change the basic needs of constituents.

"Most of the citizens are concerned about services being delivered effectively and efficiently, says Jones, whether there's a Democrat or Republican in the county executive's office or whether one party or the other controls the county council, it hasn't made much difference in those objectives."

Democrats currently have a small majority of 4-3 on the St. Louis County Council.


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