Race for Crestwood mayor gets competitive


By Gloria Lloyd
News Editor

The special election for Crestwood mayor this fall will be a competitive one.

Until Thursday, Ward 3 Alderman Grant Mabie was the only candidate who had filed to run for mayor, with the seeming backing of acting Mayor Tony Kennedy and former Mayor Gregg Roby, who created the vacancy when he resigned due to health reasons in June.

But a political newcomer, Chris Court, filed Thursday to run for mayor and give Mabie a run for his money.

More candidates could also jump in since filing closes at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 21.

“What got me to think about running was obviously it was an unexpected opportunity with the mayor stepping down,” Court said. “I thought it would be good to maybe bring a fresh perspective.”

Candidates in Crestwood have to gather signatures in order to file for office, and while Court was knocking on doors gathering signatures, he said a lot of people seemed to appreciate the idea of someone outside of City Hall taking over.

“A lot of people reflected that a fresh face brings some new ideas,” Court said.

Mabie was not immediately available for comment Friday.

Court is a complete newcomer to Crestwood city government and told the Call he has lived in Crestwood for nearly 15 years.  He didn’t decide to run based on Mabie running, but said he just has a desire to serve the city. Mabie is his alderman in Ward 3, but he’s never met him.

“He hasn’t knocked on my door,” Court said.

His top issue when running would be the redevelopment of the former Crestwood Plaza mall, which is currently in limbo with no firm redevelopment plan as owner UrbanStreet Group concentrates on finding a contractor to flatten the mounds of the so-called “Mount Crestwood” dirt mounds that now populate the site.

“Obviously the Crestwood mall is No. 1 on everybody’s mind,” Court said. “I want to help find a solution and find a good result for that property. It’s kind of a jewel. There’s not a lot of property in St. Louis County anymore like that, so you could do a lot to it — something that’s not going to steal business away from the other businesses that have been here for decades.”

As one example of that, Court notes that a few of the past redevelopment plans have included ideas for grocery stores and bowling alleys, which the city already has in close proximity to the mall site.

But he also has other ideas on how to improve the city: “I’ll just bring my ideas to the people and see what they think… Just to find some park enhancements, things that can be done without really breaking the budget of the city to make it a better city to live in.”

He’s also interested in connecting Grant’s Trail to other areas of the city.

To find out what else people are interested in, he plans to get out and knock on doors during his campaign.

“My idea is just to go door to door, talk to as many people as I can, get my face out there and talk to as many people about what’s going on as I can,” he said. “That’s my plan, and we’ll see what November will bring.”

He currently works for a telecommunications company, but before that he worked for the county Board of Elections for roughly 13 years as an assistant Republican director, overseeing election judges. Election board employees, although identified as partisans by law, are not allowed to run for any office.

He attended the University of Missouri-St. Louis for his undergraduate degree in public administration and then earned an MBA in finance from Webster University.