Mantovani running for county executive again


Mantovani talks with Amy Stuber of Creve Coeur and John Snodgrass of Richmond Heights. Photo by Jessica Belle Kramer.

By Gloria Lloyd
News Editor

Businessman Mark Mantovani officially launched his campaign for the Democratic nomination for St. Louis County executive, challenging current County Executive Sam Page and county Assessor Jake Zimmerman in what is now a three-way race for the county’s top job.

During a video speech released on YouTube Feb. 19, Mantovani outlined his background as an experienced chief executive, “job creator” and civic leader in favor of more regional cooperation and promised he could deliver results as county executive.

“Our region and St. Louis County, in particular, continues to fail to meet its potential,” said Mantovani. “We all know this is true, yet we keep electing the same politicians, expecting them to create transformational change. If we change nothing, nothing changes. I look forward to presenting a vision for this community’s future that is built on a collaborative approach to promoting economic opportunity, diversity and public safety.”

So far no one has announced a run for county executive as a Republican.

Filing for the Democratic primary in St. Louis County opens on Feb. 25 and ends March 31, with the primary scheduled for Aug. 4.

Mark Mantovani

Mantovani wrote a letter to Page Jan. 30 resigning his position on the city-county Board of Freeholders, which met once without a city contingent but is on hold until the city appoints its delegates.

“This is a very critical moment for our region,” Mantovani wrote in his resignation letter. “While the convening of the full Board of Electors has been delayed, I remain optimistic that it will eventually be influential in transforming our region.”

Stating in his YouTube speech Feb. 19 that real leadership requires more than the “mere absence of corruption,” Mantovani said the citizens of St. Louis County deserve leadership as good as they are, pointing to the importance of passion, vision and collaboration, as well as a government that’s transparent and committed to fairness and equality.

More than 90,000 St. Louis County residents voted for Mantovani during the last Democratic primary in August 2018, when Mantovani was narrowly edged by then-County Executive Steve Stenger. Since then Mantovani said he “has continued his civic and charitable leadership,” as well as met with people across St. Louis County to discuss how to address the region’s challenges.

Just as Mantovani predicted during that campaign, Stenger went to prison on federal corruption charges last year. The County Council chose Page, then council chairman, as Stenger’s successor as county executive. Zimmerman is the county’s first elected assessor and has held that office since 2011, re-elected in 2014 and 2018.

Zimmerman said he welcomed Mantovani to the race.

In a statement, Zimmerman said, “I welcome Mark Mantovani to the race. St. Louis County stands at a critical crossroads and I look forward to comparing my record against Mark’s and Sam’s any day. We have very different visions and views. I’m proud to be a progressive Democrat committed to reform. And I’m clear about where I want to lead the County as well as the absolute need for transparency. Now, voters will have a choice between a progressive leader and others who want to take St. Louis County in a different direction.”

Page, who was named county executive after Stenger resigned, also welcomed Mantovani to the race.

“Being county executive today is a tremendous opportunity to make lives better. Mark and I have very different experiences and outlooks. I look forward to the campaign.”

So far no one has announced a run for county executive as a Republican.

Filing for the Democratic primary in St. Louis County opens on Feb. 25 and ends March 31, with the primary scheduled for Aug. 4. Click here to view the video announcement on YouTube: