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Parties Choose Nominees To Fill Vacant Seat On St. Louis County Council

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St. Louis County’s Democratic and Republican central committees have chosen their nominees for the Aug. 5 special election to fill the vacant seat on the County Council created by the death of Kathleen Burkett. 

The Democratic nominee for the 2nd District post is a familiar one:  Dr. Sam Page of Creve Coeur, a physician and former state representative who was the Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor in 2008.  He lost to incumbent Republican Peter Kinder.

The Republican nominee is Robert Saettele, a city councilman in Bridgeton who also is a businessman. According to his biography on the city’s website, he is co-owner of Satellite Outdoor Services, Inc. and an instructor at St. Louis Community College at Meramec.

Leaders of both county political operations chose their council nominees on Saturday.  The council is in the process of officially setting the special-election date as Aug. 5, the same day as the statewide primaries.

The victor will serve out the remainder of Burkett's term, which runs through 2016.  Burkett, a longstanding Democratic activist, died in April.

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Sam Page

County GOP chairman Bruce Buwalda acknowledges that his camp faces a challenge, since the 2nd District is considered Democratic leaning. But Buwalda said Sunday that Saettele should be considered a strong contender, particularly given his service on the Bridgeton council.

With Page as the Democratic rival, said Buwalda, "It will be a fun election. We're looking forward to it."

Page, meanwhile, said in an email that he’s happy to get back into politics. “This is a unique opportunity to serve my community and stay close to my family,” he said. “I started out on the City Council in Creve Coeur 15 years ago.  Local government has a huge impact on our quality of life and opportunities for our kids.”   

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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