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Sam Page wins 4 more years as St. Louis County executive, defeating Mark Mantovani

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Theo Welling
/
Special to St. Louis Public Radio
St. Louis County Executive Sam Page gives his acceptance speech after defeating Republican Mark Mantovani on Tuesday at the Machinist’s District 9 Hall in Bridgeton.

Sam Page has earned a full term as St. Louis County executive.

The Democratic incumbent beat his Democrat-turned-Republican challenger Mark Mantovani 51.5% to 46% on Tuesday. Turnout was 57.6%.

“It seemed like a nonstop campaign since 2019, and that’s what it’s been,” Page said Tuesday night.

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Page was able to successfully turn the race into a referendum on his tenure as county executive, which began in 2019 after Steve Stenger was indicted on federal corruption charges and resigned. Page had emphasized his leadership of the county through that scandal, as well as the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the racial justice reckoning after the May 2020 murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

“Our region is more inclined to cooperate than at any moment in our history,” Page said. “We’ve brought the matter of racial equity into every conversation that government has, and in those conversations they’ll continue. St. Louis cannot grow, cannot be safe until we address race, until there are enough good schools, good housing, good jobs, good transportation, good child care and good retirements for everyone regardless of where they live in St. Louis County.”

Page also called for the U.S. Department of Energy to intervene in county environmental conditions, following news of Coldwater Creek contamination at Jana Elementary School. He also supported a national law guaranteeing access to reproductive health services, as well as approval of red flag laws and background checks for gun purchases.

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Theo Welling
/
Special to St. Louis Public Radio
Sam Page, St. Louis County executive, congratulates county Prosecutor Wesley Bell after winning a full term in the office on Tuesday at the Machinist’s District 9 Hall in Bridgeton.

The county council has been marred by infighting over the past several years during Page’s and Stenger’s tenure. Page said it’s time for county leaders to move past those conflicts to strengthen the region.

“I’m happy to put all of the differences aside for all of the Democrats so that we can work together and address our really serious budget challenges that are in front of us,” Page said. “And I reach out with hope to those Republicans willing to walk away from elections and the science deniers who have been the loudest and most dangerous elements of their party.”

Mantovani told supporters who gathered at the Drury Inn in Brentwood that he’s disappointed for the future of the county. However, he said he hopes Page uses the victory as an opportunity to work with others to better the county.

“This community has great potential and needs a leader — not merely an office holder,” Mantovani said. “I’m sincerely hopeful that the county executive will make a new start and deliver to our community on that need.”

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Brian Munoz
/
St. Louis Public Radio
Mark Mantovani, the Republican nominee for St. Louis County executive, reacts while waiting in line to vote with his wife, Patty, on Nov. 4 at the St. Louis County Library Mid-County Branch in Clayton.

Mantovani also urged St. Louisans to address “long-term and historic” challenges including economic stagnation, racial and social equity and the “fragmentation” of the county government structure.

The race marked Mantovani’s third attempt at the office of county executive. He previously ran in the Democratic primaries in 2018 and 2020.

Mantovani ran a campaign designed to appeal to Democrats who had soured on Page for a variety of reasons. But ultimately, he could not overcome the natural advantage the Democratic Party holds in St. Louis County.

Follow Rachel on Twitter: @rlippmann 

Follow Chad on Twitter: @iamcdavis 

Follow Kavahn on Twitter: @kavahnmansouri

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.
Chad is a general assignment reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.
Kavahn Mansouri joins KCUR 89.3 and the Midwest Newsroom from the Belleville (Illinois) News-Democrat.

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