Ocello raises most cash of Mehlville school board hopefuls


While a seat on the Mehlville Board of Education would pay him no money, Micheal Ocello has raised $6,570 in monetary and in-kind contributions toward Tuesday’s election campaign.

That figure, which was available in the campaign finance report he filed March 27 with the county Board of Election Commissioners, is the most amount of campaign contributions received by any candidate in this year’s Mehlville Board of Education race. Ocello also reports that he has loaned $943.95 of his own money to his campaign.

Ocello is followed in the Mehlville school board campaign contribution ranks by fellow candidate Tom Diehl, who reported March 27 that he had received $2,115 in funds donated to his campaign. Diehl has also paid $225 to his own campaign committee.

Diehl has received monetary contributions from a handful of local officials and education groups. These include $325 from the election committee for County Councilman John Campisi, R-south county, $200 from the Missouri National Education Association and $200 from former three-term Mehlville school board member Dan Fowler and his wife, Sandra.

Theresa (Saunders) Kleusch sits next in line in campaign contribution amounts with a total of $1,323 filed on her March 23 campaign finance report with the county election board. She reports that $898 of her contributions were obtained at a March 19 fund-raiser. Kleusch’s report also shows that she gave $2,400 of her own money to her campaign.

Incumbent Board of Education Secretary Mike Heins trails Kleusch with $1,180 in campaign contributions, all of which were collected on the same day as a Sept. 24 fund-raiser, according to his finance report filed March 27 with the county’s election board. Heins also reports that he donated $500 of his own money to his re-election fund.

Incumbent Board of Education Vice President Bill Schornheuser reported March 23 in his report that he had received $237.88 in monetary and in-kind contributions toward his re-election bid. The incumbent reports that he has loaned $1,500 out of his pocket to his campaign committee.

School board candidate Mark Counts has not filed a campaign finance report with the county.

Only candidates who collect or spend $1,000 in preparation for an election are required to file campaign finance reports, according to the county Board of Election Commissioners.

All candidates who filed for Tuesday’s Board of Education election have until May 4 to deliver their 30-day-after-election reports to the St. Louis County Election Board. Those reports, however, are only required if the $1,000 plateau is broken.

Of Ocello’s total of $7,513.95 available to his campaign committee, the Committee to Elect Micheal Ocello reports spending $5,487.02 as of March 23.

These expenses from Ocello’s campaign fund include paying $2,002.01 to Silke Design in Denver, Colo., for yard signs, cards, brochures and production costs, $1,544 to the Call for advertising, $1,102.80 to the Democratic Strategy Group in Las Vegas, Nev., for a “get out the vote” campaign, $643.95 to Cafe De France in Clayton for a fund-raiser and $194.26 to AT&T for phone service and installation.

Ocello also reported making a $100 contribution from his campaign fund to the Oakville Democratic Organization.

Although she received the third-most campaign contributions among Mehlville school board candidates, Kleusch reports she has spent more money on her campaign than any candidate except Ocello. Her campaign finance report indicates she has spent $2,425.70 in her election bid.

Of these expenditures, Kleusch’s Elect Theresa committee has paid $1,350.80 to MADCO for yard signs, $777 to the Call for advertising, $290.10 to SPC Business Solutions for printing and $7.80 for postage.

Kleusch also reported paying $81.03 out of her campaign fund for food and drinks at her March 19 fund-raiser, Bringing in the Green.

Diehl closely follows Kleusch in campaign expenses with a total of $2,340 spent toward Tuesday’s election.

Of that sum, the Committee to Elect Tom Diehl has paid $695 to SPC Business Solutions for printing, $606 to the Call for advertising, $591.89 to the O.R. Pechman Co. for yard signs, $121.27 to Crusoe’s Restaurant for a reception, $83.80 for shipping and postage and $55.15 for copying.

Heins is next in line behind Diehl in reporting campaign expenses, which his finance report indicates is at $1,218.54. The incumbent board secretary also reports a $37.87 contribution made between Feb. 19 and March 27, but does not indicate who received that contribution.

The Committee to Elect Mike Heins paid a total of $355 in June and July to Quickpoint Inc. — Heins’ employer — for promotional trinkets, $296.05 for a Septemberfest fund-raiser, $221.20 for office supplies, labels, bank fees, art and postage, $199 for additional postage, $75 to Arnold resident Troy Blacksher, $32.29 for printing, $25 to Heins himself and $15 for additional bank fees.

Schornheuser’s campaign finance report showed that as of March 23, he had not spent any of his campaign funds.