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Government, Politics & Issues

Politically Speaking: Jake Zimmerman On Why He Should Take On St. Louis County’s Top Job

St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio
St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman

St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman is the latest guest on Politically Speaking, where he talked with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum about his bid for county executive.

Zimmerman is one of four Democrats seeking the post. All four candidates will appear on Politically Speaking in separate episodes released this week.

Here’s what Zimmerman talked about during the show:

  • How he would have handled the coronavirus crisis differently than St. Louis County Executive Sam Page has. Among other things, Zimmerman was critical of how the county council gave Page authority over how to spend federal coronavirus funds — and the parameters around a relief fund aimed at helping small businesses.
  • St. Louis County Police Chief Mary Barton’s comments denying systemic racism within her agency. Barton later walked back those statements. He explained how he would want to see that agency overhauled if he were county executive.
  • How he would improve relations between St. Louis County and St. Louis, and whether it will ever be possible for the two jurisdictions to somehow combine.
  • How he plans to stand out in a four-way Democratic primary, which includes two well-funded opponents in Page and Mark Mantovani.

Zimmerman grew up in St. Louis County, going to Clayton schools, before attending Claremont McKenna University and Harvard Law School. He worked for then-Attorney General Jay Nixon and then-Gov. Bob Holden before being elected to a state House seat in 2006.
After Missouri voters approved a constitutional amendment making St. Louis County’s assessor an elected position, he won the post in 2011. He was elected to a full term in 2014 and was reelected in 2018. Zimmerman ran unsuccessfully in 2016 for attorney general.

In November, the winner of the Democratic primary will take on the winner of the Republican contest between Paul Berry III and Ed Golterman. Since St. Louis County is heavily Democratic, the victor in the Aug. 4 Democratic primary is likely to serve as county executive through 2022.

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Jake Zimmerman on Twitter: @Jake4StlCo

Music: “Up the Wolves” by the Mountain Goats

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