BREAKING NEWS: Ryan defeats Klund in race for fire board seat

With all precincts reporting, incumbent Ed Ryan has defeated challenger Mike Klund in today’s election for a seat on the Mehlville Fire Protection District Board of Directors.

Ryan tallied 8,075 votes — 63.1 percent — with 68 of 68 precincts reporting, while Klund garnered 4,690 votes — 36.65 percent — according to unofficial results released by the St. Louis County Board of Election Commissioners.

Ryan currently serves as board secretary.

Klund ran unsuccessfully in 2011 for the seat of Mehlville Fire Protection District Board of Directors Chairman Aaron Hilmer.

Klund, 54, of Lemay, is a small-business owner and is endorsed this year by the Greater St. Louis Labor Council, the South County Legislative Labor Club and International Association of Fire Fighters Local 2665, according to a mailer funded by the St. Louis Labor Council AFL-CIO Project 2000. He is also supported by a new political action committee, or PAC, Citizens for Good Government. The group shares a treasurer, Jennifer Stuhlman, with the Professional Firefighters of Tri-County PAC, which donated $50,500 to the Citizens for Good Government in February, after receiving a $50,000 donation from “Mehlville Fire Fighters.”

Hilmer has sued Citizens for Good Government on behalf of the district, alleging campaign-finance law violations, including an effort to conceal the source of political donations. Citizens for Good Government has mailed letters and fliers endorsing Klund and attacking Ryan.

Two years ago, Klund’s committee and another committee formed to support his candidacy, Friends of the Mehlville Fire District, raised more than $100,000 for Klund’s campaign to unseat Hilmer, mostly from donations by Local 1889 and the national IAFF. Hilmer narrowly won that race, 48.9 percent to Klund’s 47.5 percent.

Ryan, 69, 10682 Hackamore Lane, Concord, is a retired electrical engineer/project manager for the Parkway School District and is married to MaryAnn.

Ryan was elected to the board in 2007.