Editorial: Call makes endorsements for next week’s elections

St Louis Call Newspapers

The Call offers the following endorsements for the election Tuesday, Nov. 6.

91st District House

In the 91st District, incumbent Rep. Sarah Unsicker, D-Shrewsbury, matches up with Gravois Republican Committeewoman Jennifer Bird of Crestwood. Although we appreciate Bird and her perennial enthusiasm, we like what Unsicker, an attorney, brings to Jefferson City. Her colleagues praise her for her thoughtfulness on the job, and she is one of south county’s more communicative legislators.

The Call endorses Unsicker.

92nd District House

In the 92nd District representing Affton and Concord Village, incumbent Doug Beck, D-Affton, faces a challenge from Republican teacher Bill Heisse, also of Affton. We appreciate Heisse’s unique perspective on education as a public-school teacher and think he would serve Affton well in Jefferson City, but we think Beck’s union-centered mindset probably better represents the voters he serves. Beck has also proved to be one of south county’s legislators who is most involved in community events, including last week’s honoring of Officer Blake Snyder.

The Call endorses Beck.

94th District House

The 94th District is currently unrepresented after the untimely death of Rep. Cloria Brown, R-Lemay. This district, split down the middle politically and frequently handed off between Democrats and Republicans, has seen a feisty race this go-round between Mehlville Board of Education member Jean Pretto, a Democrat, and the father of two former Mehlville board members, Jim Murphy, a Republican.

Although the Call has had its differences with Murphy in the past, his graciousness this year and inspiring life story won us over to endorse him in the Republican primary in August. But Pretto is an entertaining and passionate supporter of public education who could shake up the Capitol. Both have pledged bipartisanship, and both would be bulldogs fighting for south county’s interests.

The Call makes no endorsement, which is the same as endorsing both.

95th District House

In the 95th District, Rep. Marsha Haefner, R-Oakville, is term-limited from office. She has endorsed as her successor Republican Michael O’Donnell, who touts his experience as a municipal finance professional and Boy Scout volunteer. He is running against Michael Walter, a longtime union official who says he agrees with “95 percent” of Oakville due to the right-to-work vote.

Life in Jefferson City would never be boring with Walter around, and we think he would serve Oakville residents well. But O’Donnell was one of the few candidates who knew in detail what we were talking about when our questionnaire asked about financial issues, and his military service — for which he signed up after a friend died in the twin towers on 9/11 — shows that he knows how to put community above himself, an admirable quality in a legislator.

The Call endorses O’Donnell.

96th District House

Rep. David Gregory, R-Sunset Hills, seems to have earned his Freshman Legislator of the Year honors by conducting an audit of a state agency and finding potential savings, suggesting much-needed changes to the Sunshine Law and reforming tax-increment financing to give school districts a say, along with forming a committee to examine flooding locally.

On the other hand, his Democratic opponent Erica Hoffman’s community service to Lindbergh Schools is nothing short of outstanding. Either candidate would serve the district well.

The Call endorses Gregory.

97th District House

In this mostly-in-Jefferson County district, incumbent Rep. Mike Revis, D-Fenton, is barely an incumbent, after just winning office in February. He faces Republican challenger Mary Elizabeth Coleman, a former Arnold city councilwoman.

We appreciate how both candidates have taken surprising views that span the aisle and think they would both serve the district well, but we’d like to give Revis more of a chance to prove himself in office.

The Call endorses Revis.

Crestwood mayor

In a refreshing change, all the candidates in this race, Ward 3 Alderman Grant Mabie, Chris Court and Neil Brown, appear to have the best interests of the city at heart. But Mabie’s city service would help him hit the ground running for a short term in office.

The Call endorses Mabie.