St. Louis County – Steve Stenger, backed by labor and supported by union volunteers, ousted incumbent Charlie Dooley Tuesday, Aug. 5, in the Democratic primary race for St. Louis County Executive.
Stenger won with 66 percent of the countywide vote, carrying most of the county’s 28 townships. He will face Republican Rick Stream in November.
The following story was published in the July 31 edition of the Labor Tribune print edition, prior to Tuesday's primary.
County Executive candidate Steve Stenger needs Labor’s votes
Endorsements praise his efforts across the board to help people
Primary Election Day is next Tuesday, Aug. 5, and Steve Stenger, Labor’s COPE-endorsed Democratic candidate for St. Louis County executive, needs our votes.
As Election Day draws near, Stenger has received several key endorsements in his bid to unseat incumbent Charlie Dooley, and return accountability and positive labor relations to county government.
• St. Louis Labor Council President Bob Soutier: “Steve offers a new direction and a new breath of fresh air for the county. It’s time for a change. We urge every union family, relatives and friends to please turn out next Tuesday and vote for Steve Stenger in the Democratic primary. Union families will make the difference in this election IF we turn out and vote.”
• St. Louis Building & Construction Trades Council Executive Secretary-Treasurer Jeff Aboussie: “Steve has demonstrated on the county council, by his action, that he understands, and supports workers and workers’ rights. After all, he comes from a union family (his father was a life-long CWA telephone workers). We are tired of the unions being used by people for their elections and then forgetting about us after that, as Mr. Dooley has done. Steve Stenger is not from that mold. We need to turnout and support him."
• County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch: “Under (Charlie) Dooley’s watch (there has been) total destruction of the reputation and integrity of county government. Stenger has the right skills and ethics for the job and shares the same commitment for improving St. Louis County and its government.”
• Former U.S. Senator Jean Carnahan: “I am confident Steve is the best person to lead St. Louis County forward. I am supporting Steve Stenger for county executive because I believe he is a hard working, responsible leader who represents our core Democratic values.”
• Former County Councilwoman Barbara Fraser: “Having served as a County Council person, I have worked with both candidates…. Steve has been an able, effective and outspoken champion on issues regarding women, seniors, and citizens confronted by environmental threats. He has on many occasions stood up for those most vulnerable and does not shy away from taking a position even though it might be politically unpopular.
“An accomplished CPA, lawyer and councilman, Steve is the right person to lead Saint Louis County now,” Fraser added.
• Domestic Abuse Victims’ Advocate Susie Barreca: “Steve Stenger passed an ordinance that required that the county to accept every abused woman and her children….while Charlie Dooley started turning families away, sending them back into harm’s way….”
• Missouri Progressive Action founder Dr. Rea Beck-Kleeman: “His main goals as our next St. Louis County Executive are to consolidate County services, require an outside forensic audit, and make our County Government more efficient and fiscally responsible. Steve Stenger is the best candidate to be our next St. Louis County executive.”
• Stray Rescue founder Randy Grimm: “Steve Stenger cares deeply about our issues and wants to save our animals from euthanasia. As County Executive Steve will also provide better care for our animals than they currently receive.”
An accomplished lawyer, CPA and councilman, Stenger, 42, is a south St. Louis native. He attended Bishop DuBourg High School and the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where he majored in business administration with an emphasis on accounting, then headed for law school at St. Louis University, where he graduated with honors.
In an interview with the Labor Tribune, Stenger said his blue-collar upbringing influenced his approach to life and the role of government.
“I grew up in a family with hard working parents,” he said. “A father who, literally, came home every night dirty from his work. He did everything from digging ditches to putting telephone poles in to stringing up lines … He was one of the hardest-working people I’ve ever known.”
Stenger will work hard and ensure that Labor is represented in county government.
Cast your vote for Stenger on Tuesday, Aug. 5.