It’s official. The Greater St. Louis Labor Council has endorsed Democrat Steve Stenger for St. Louis County Executive in the Primary Election Aug. 5.
Stenger is challenging incumbent Democrat Charlie Dooley, whose falling out with Labor brought an end to his political relationship with the Labor Council and the St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council late last year.
Stenger thanked the Labor Council for its support in a tweet @SteveStenger: “I want to thank the St. Louis Labor Council for their endorsement of my campaign for STL County Executive. I am truly honored!”
Labor played a critical role in Dooley’s first election in 2004 and his narrow re-election victory in 2010.
Dooley testified against right-to-work legislation in Jefferson City earlier this year, but his relationship with Labor has been more than rocky.
• The FBI is investigating the awarding of a construction contract for the county courthouse and jail to a close political ally and former chairman of the police board.
• Dooley attempted to appoint Republican right-to-work advocate and 2012 gubernatorial candidate Dave Spence to the county’s Police Board. Spence later withdrew his name from consideration citing problems with a county ordinance requiring nominees to submit to background and credit checks
• Dooley awarded a non-union contractor the electrical contract on the county’s 911 Emergency Call Center after union voters helped the county pass a $100 million bond issue in 2009 to pay for the project.
“We didn’t feel like we had a partner that supported our causes,” Jeff Aboussie, executive secretary-treasurer of the Building Trades said. “Evidently he doesn’t value the quality of work that comes out of the Building Trades. That’s unfortunate.”
FRIEND OF LABOR
Stenger represents the Sixth District in south St. Louis County. He is an attorney and Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and has worked closely on the council with Mike O’Mara, an international officer and former business agent of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 562, and Pat Dolan, President of Sprinkler Fitters Local 268.
Stenger grew up in a union family. His father was a lineman for Southwestern Bell.
“He has been supportive of labor over his years on the County Council, and he’s pledged to be a friend of the working man,” Bob Soutier, president of the Labor Council said.