Bill Ray drops out of Aug. 7 county executive race


Bill Ray

Bill Ray

County Executive Steve Stenger will have one fewer challenger in the Democratic primary in August.

University City real-estate agent Bill Ray, who served in many roles in the administration of former County Executive Charlie Dooley, had filed to run against Stenger and Ladue businessman Mark Mantovani in the Democratic primary this August.

But Ray announced last month he was withdrawing his candidacy because he had not raised enough funds. He also took the opportunity to slam Stenger in a lengthy missive that accused the county executive of violating the law and ethical norms in everything from board appointments to hiring to “securities fraud and tax fraud in some instances,” he said.

Ray said he would withdraw his name from the ballot, but his name still appeared at the time the Call went to press.

“Unfortunately we have not been able to generate the resources to forge forward,” Ray said. “This campaign was never about me, it was about the region, about how we move forward and capture the greatness of this community, and I felt that I was bringing the best ideas in spirit that could move this region forward…

“Unfortunately the current administration has never believed in this as a guiding principle. Mr. Stenger has repeatedly used county government resources to intimidate, exact revenge and further his own political interests.”

Ray accused Stenger of improperly removing Ray and others from boards and commissions, perhaps invalidating votes taken by the St. Louis County Library Board of Directors and the county TIF Commission.

But Stenger’s campaign responded by connecting Ray to Mantovani. The two posed for a picture on Twitter together.