In election filing trend so far, incumbents declining to run for election

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Photo by Erin Achenbach

Voters check in to cast their ballots at the Sunset Hills Community Center during the April 2019 election.

By Staff Report

Candidate filing closes Tuesday, Jan. 19 for a number of governmental positions that are up for election April 6.

Filing began at 8 a.m. Dec. 15, and ends at 5 p.m. Jan. 19.

Judging by candidates who have filed so far, the Mehlville fire board and the Green Park mayoral seat will have competitive races. Incumbent fire board Treasurer Bonnie Stegman is being challenged by a former firefighter.

Aldermanic seats in Crestwood, Green Park and Sunset Hills are also up for election, along with three seats on the Grantwood Village Board of Trustees.

Seats on the Lindbergh and Mehlville boards of education also are up for election. Two candidates have filed so far for two seats for the Mehlville school board, and two candidates have filed for two seats on the Lindbergh school board.

Mehlville fire board

The six-year term held by Stegman on the Mehlville Fire Protection District’s Board of Directors will be up for election, and Stegman filed early Dec. 21 to run for a fourth term after 15 years on the board. Former MFPD firefighter Fred Baumgarth filed Jan. 6 to challenge Stegman. He ran unsuccessfully against board Secretary Ed Ryan in 2019.

Stegman was first elected in 2005 and re-elected in 2009. No one filed to oppose her in 2015.

Lindbergh school board

Two seats with three-year terms are up for election. Current board President Mike Shamia will be up for re-election, along with former board President Karen Schuster.

Schuster has served on the board since 2012, re-elected in 2015 and 2018. Shamia was elected to a one-year term in 2017, then a full three-year term in 2018.

As of press time, Shamia and Megan Vedder had filed to run. Candidates make appointments to file the paperwork.

Mehlville school board

Two seats on the Mehlville Board of Education held by Tori Behlke and Lisa Messmer are up for election. Behlke and Messmer were both elected to their first term in 2018. Terms are three years.

On the first day of filing, Behlke filed to run again.

Newcomer Patrick McKelvey also filed. As an Oakville High senior in 2014, he fought against budget cuts. He is not related to teachers’ union president Deana McKelvie.

Crestwood

Board of Aldermen seats held by Mimi Duncan in Ward 1, Justin Charboneau in Ward 2, Scott Shipley in Ward 3 and Ismaine Ayouaz in Ward 4 will be up for election. Terms are three years.

Filing so far are Jesse Morrison in Ward 1, Charboneau in Ward 2, Shipley in Ward 3 and John Sebben in Ward 4. Ayouaz told The Call that he will not run again.

Grantwood Village

Three seats on the Grantwood Village Board of Trustees will be up for election. The seats held by Chairman Kevin Kelso, Public Works Commissioner Mark Kienstra and Building Commissioner Rick Wagner are up for election. Kelso, Kienstra and Wagner all filed to run again.

Green Park

The Green Park mayoral post will be up for election for a two-year term. Mayor Tim Thuston was elected in 2019. Thuston filed to run again and will be challenged by Ward 1 Alderman Michael Broughton, who also filed to run for mayor.

Four seats are up for election: The Ward 1 seats held by Broughton and Esad Softic, along with the Ward 2 seat held by Matthew Farwig and the Ward 3 seat held by Joe Monteleone.

Softic, Farwig and Monteleone filed for election to their seats. Softic was just appointed to his seat last year, and that term has one year left, while the other aldermanic seats carry two-year terms.

Sunset Hills

Four seats, one from each ward, will be up for two-year terms in Sunset Hills.

The Ward 1 seat held by Joe Stewart, who was just appointed by Mayor Pat Fribis, will be up for election. Seats held by Steve Bersche in Ward 2, Nathan Lipe in Ward 3 and Mark Colombo in Ward 4 will be up for election. Bersche, Lipe and Colombo are not seeking re-election.

Stewart filed for his Ward 1 seat, which had been held by Dee Baebler since 2009.

Christine Lieber filed to run in Ward 2.

Andrew Tolch and Randy Epperson filed to run in Ward 3.

Keith Meier and Fred Daues filed in Ward 4.