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Sam Page earns chance at full term as St. Louis County executive, defeating Jane Dueker

080222_ES_Page Victory 1.jpg
Eric Schmid
/
St. Louis Public Radio
St. Louis County Executive Sam Page gives a speech Tuesday evening after winning the Democratic nomination for St. Louis County executive. The incumbent will face political newcomer Katherine Pinner in November.

Sam Page will get his shot at a full term as St. Louis County executive.

Page easily defeated political strategist and lobbyist Jane Dueker in the Democratic primary Tuesday, 63% to 37% in final unofficial results. He will face Republican Katherine Pinner, an author and consultant, in November. Pinner, a political newcomer, upset state Sen. Shamed Dogan on Tuesday.

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Though Page appeared to do little traditional campaigning, he outraised and outspent Dueker, both from his campaign account and a political action committee working on his behalf.  

On Tuesday, he said his record stood for itself.

“Our economy is stronger and growing. Our municipalities and neighborhoods are safer. Our government employees are better compensated and more appreciated,” Page said at a small election night event in Woodson Terrace. “We've brought racial equity into every conversation that government has, and we will continue those conversations moving forward.”

Dueker said in a statement that while she came up short: “The campaign doesn’t end here today.  I will continue to be an advocate on the crime issue here in St. Louis County.  Our citizens need to feel safe and I will continue fighting until we get crime under control.”

County Council elections

In the only contested primary for a seat on the county council, Chairwoman Rita Days, D-Bel Nor, held off a surprisingly stiff challenge from Jennings City Council member Terry Wilson for the 1st District council seat.

Page and Days clashed frequently over the past two years, with Days and 4th District Councilwoman Shalonda Webb, D-St. Louis County, often joining with the council’s Republicans to thwart Page’s agenda. Page said Tuesday he considered the battles among Democrats finished.

“The punches have been thrown and forgiven. And I'm happy to put aside differences so that we can work together through an economic recovery, leaving no one behind,” he said.

County propositions

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Voters on Tuesday endorsed three changes to St. Louis County’s charter.

Proposition A tightens protections for county employees who want to make allegations of mismanagement public. It expands the jobs those protections apply to and more clearly defines mismanagement and retaliation.

Proposition M sets the salaries of county council members at $20,000 but also establishes a commission that would meet every five years and make compensation recommendations to the council. Council members would vote yes or no on those recommendations, which would not be subject to a veto. Members could not receive a raise in their current term.

Proposition V requires any nominees to head a county department or serve on a board or commission to be confirmed by the council before they start serving in that position. It gives the council 30 days to act, and a decision not to take a vote would be considered a vote to confirm.

The change was a response to outgoing county Health Director Faisal Khan remaining in that position in an acting capacity, despite his rejection by the council.

Follow Rachel on Twitter: @rlippmann 

Eric Schmid contributed reporting

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.

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