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Government, Politics & Issues

Nixon names lawyer to GOP slot on St. Louis County Election Board

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Oct. 5, 2009 - Gov. Jay Nixon late today has announced a new appointment to the St. Louis County Election Board -- only his second since taking office in January.

Nixon's choice: Julie Jones, a Republican and business lawyer with the Jones Law Firm LLC, which has offices in west St. Louis County.

She replaces Chaim Zimbalist, a Democrat who had been appointed by Nixon's GOP predecessor, then-Gov. Matt Blunt.

The board oversees county elections and procedures, including the voting equipment. By law, the four-person panel must have two Republicans and two Democrats.

In February, Nixon appointed Richard H. Kellett, a fellow Democrat and a pipefitter from Florissant. Kellett, 74, also is a retired labor activist with Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 562, a politically influential group in regional politics.

Kellett had replaced John Fox Arnold, a Republican and lawyer who had been serving as the board's chairman. Kellett is the current chairman.

Nixon spokesman Scott Holste declined to say when the governor might make his final two appointments to the board.

The two holdovers, at the moment, are Democrat Bill Miller and Republican Anita Yeckel, a former state senator.

The county Election Board's meetings have apparently been sporatic since Nixon took office. The last minutes on its Web site are from its January 2009 meeting, but board staff say there have been several meetings since then.

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