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Government, Politics & Issues

Politically Speaking: St. Louis County Executive Sam Page On Why He Should Continue To Serve

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page and county municipalities are trying to hash out a deal to send federal money to municipal police and fire departments.
File photo I David Kovaluk I St. Louis Public Radio
St. Louis County Executive Sam Page

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page is the latest guest on Politically Speaking. The Democrat spoke with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum about why he’s seeking two more years in office.

Page is one of four Democrats running. All four will appear on Politically Speaking in separate episodes released this week.

Here’s what Page talked about on the show:

  • How his administration has dealt with three major issues – the overhaul of county government after his predecessor, Steve Stenger, resigned in the face of corruption charges; the coronavirus pandemic, and the protests decrying police killing Black people.
  • St. Louis County Police Chief Mary Barton’s comments denying systemic racism within her agency. Barton later walked back those statements. Page appointed most of the police board that selected Barton to replace Jon Belmar as chief.
  • How he would convince voters that he should stay in office — and what some of his broader priorities are if he wins.

Page is a veteran on the local political scene. After serving a stint on the Creve Coeur City Council, Page won a hotly contested Democratic primary for a Missouri House seat in 2002 representing central St. Louis County. While serving in the House, Page – an anesthesiologist – emerged as a key player in the debate over health care, including reconfiguring the state’s Medicaid program in 2007.

Page’s political career hit a rough patch a few years back. Despite impressive fundraising, he lost a close statewide contest in 2008 to Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a Republican. Two years later, then-St. Louis County Councilwoman Barbara Fraser, D-University City, easily defeated Page in a Democratic primary for a state Senate seat.

After St. Louis Councilwoman Kathleen Kelly Burkett, D-Overland, died of cancer in 2014, Page won the seat representing central and north St. Louis County. He was selected by the council to replace Stenger as county executive in 2019.

The winner of the Democratic primary will take on the Republican primary winner — either Paul Berry III or Ed Golterman. Since St. Louis County is a heavily Democratic jurisdiction, the victor in the Aug. 4 Democratic primary is likely to win in November.

 

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum

Follow Sam Page on Twitter: @DrSamPage

Music: “Strange Days” by the Doors

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