April races set in cities, school boards

Newcomers file in all four of Sunset Hills’ wards for 2021

Citizens+vote+at+the+Sunset+Hills+Community+Center+April+2%2C+2019.

Photo by Erin Achenbach

Citizens vote at the Sunset Hills Community Center April 2, 2019.

By Staff Report

Candidate filing closed Tuesday for a number of governmental positions that are up for election April 6, setting up several competitive races across South County. One of the trends this year is that many incumbents did not file to run again, so there are a number of new faces across local city and school boards.

The Mehlville fire board and the Green Park mayoral seat will see competitive races this year. 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. Green Park and Crestwood will have a number of new faces on the Board of Aldermen, but no competitive races, while Sunset Hills will have competitive races in all four wards. And for the first time in recent memory, Grantwood Village will have competitive races.

Seats on the Lindbergh and Mehlville boards of education also are up for election. Three candidates are vying for two seats on the Lindbergh board, while there will be no Mehlville school board election this year since only two candidates filed for two seats.

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, with Stegman challenged by former firefighter Fred Baumgarth. 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, and three candidates filed.

Current board President Mike Shamia filed for re-election, but former board President Karen Schuster did not file to run again.

Newcomers Megan Vedder and Khaled Jumean filed in addition to Shamia. However, Jumean withdrew his name Monday, Jan. 25, according to Andrea Hosenfelt, assistant to the Lindbergh Board of Education. An election will still be held in April with Vedder and Shamia’s names on the ballot.

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.

Mehlville school board

After a race with five candidates for three seats last year, a Mehlville Board of Education election will not be held in 2021 since two candidates filed for two seats.

The three-year seats up for election are currently held by Tori Behlke and Lisa Messmer. They were both first elected in 2018. Behlke filed to run again, and newcomer Patrick McKelvey also filed.

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 are up for election. Terms are three years.

Incumbents Duncan and Ayouaz did not file to run again. The four candidates who filed, one in each ward, are each unopposed: Jesse Morrison in Ward 1, Charboneau in Ward 2, Shipley in Ward 3 and John Sebben in Ward 4.

Grantwood Village

Three seats on the Grantwood Village Board of Trustees are up for election, and current officeholders Kevin Kelso, Mark Kienstra and Rick Wagner filed. Kurt Voss also filed, making it a competitive race.

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.

Four aldermanic 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, and former Alderman Carol Hamilton filed in Ward 1.

Sunset Hills

Four seats, one from each ward, will be up for two-year terms in Sunset Hills, and this year all four races will be competitive, with no longtime incumbents running again.

Joe Stewart, who was appointed last fall by Mayor Pat Fribis, filed to run and was set to be challenged by former Alderman Frank Hardy. Seats held by Steve Bersche in Ward 2, Nathan Lipe in Ward 3 and Mark Colombo in Ward 4 will be up for election.

Hardy had filed to run in Ward 1 but withdrew his name from the race Jan. 26, just after the city had submitted its paperwork to St. Louis County, said City Administrator Brittany Gillett. Gillett informed election authorities with enough time to ensure that Hardy’s name will not appear on the ballot.

Christine Lieber and Marie Davis filed to run in Ward 2. Andrew Tolch and Randy Epperson filed to run in Ward 3. Fred Daues and Bruce Studer filed in Ward 4. Keith Meier had filed in Ward 4, but withdrew his name by email Jan. 14, Gillett said.