The Call makes endorsements for Nov. 7 election

The Call, in an effort to help our readers make informed decisions when they go to the polls next week, has been profiling the candidates for county, state and federal offices over the past few weeks.

While some seeking election next Tuesday are imminently qualified, most, quite frankly, have more political ambition than substantive ideas. Given that, in some cases we will not make an endorsement in a particular race.

The following are the Call’s endorsements — and non-endorsements — for next week’s election.

County Executive

We would like nothing better than to endorse Democrat Charlie Dooley for county executive, but the Call’s policy is we will not knowingly endorse any candidate who refuses to debate his opponent.

At press time, it appeared that Mr. Dooley was ducking a debate with Republican opponent Joe Passanise. That’s a real shame because we certainly believe Mr. Dooley has done a great job as county executive and is the best candidate for the post. Given his refusal to debate, however, we cannot endorse him. Also running is Libertarian Theodis “Ted” Brown.

The Call makes no endorsement in this race. Sorry, Charlie.

County Council District 3

Democrat Kathleen “Kathy” Schweitzer and Republican Colleen Wasinger, a Ward 1 Town and County alderman, are vying for the 3rd District County Council seat being vacated by Republican Skip Mange, who has served on the council since 2002.

Quite frankly, either candidate would be an improvement over Mr. Mange, who has been no friend of 6th District residents or 6th District Councilman John Campisi, R-south county. While either candidate would be an asset to St. Louis County, we believe Mrs. Wasinger would best serve county residents and endorse her.

County Council District 5

A Democratic state representative is challenging veteran Republican Councilman Kurt Odenwald for the 5th District County Council seat he’s held since 1990.

Rep. Barbara Fraser, D-University City, is perhaps Mr. Odenwald’s most formidable opponent ever and likely would do an excellent job on the County Council. But Mr. Odenwald’s 16 years of experience on the County Council and the leadership he’s shown during that time make him best qualified for the post. The Call endorses Mr. Odenwald.

Missouri House District 85

Democrat Bob Burns is looking to unseat Republican incumbent Jim Lembke from the seat he’s held since 2002.

As we’ve said before, we believe Rep. Lembke’s extreme views are not in line with those of most south county residents, and some of the stances he’s taken during the past two years have been particularly troubling to us, especially his political pandering to labor. As we said in August, the way Mr. Burns co-chaired the Lemay on the Move group a few years back still leaves a bad taste in our mouth.

The Call makes no endorsement.

Missouri House District 95

Democrat Judi Parker is challenging Republican incumbent Jim Avery for the seat he’s held since 2002.

While we have the utmost respect for Rep. Avery, who served a year in Iraq with the National Guard’s 1140th Engineering Battalion, it’s no secret that we don’t agree with him on all the issues. That said, Mrs. Parker has an impressive political background and we believe she would be best suited to represent District 95 residents in the Missouri House. We endorse her.

Missouri House District 96

Perennial candidate Ron Levy, running as a Republican this year, hopes to unseat Democratic incumbent Pat Yaeger in the race for the 96th District House seat. We believe Rep. Yaeger needs a better grasp of some of the issues, specifically the Sunshine Law, and can only conditionally endorse her.

Missouri House District 97

Democrat Thomas C. Knowles II is challenging Republican incumbent Walt Bivins for a seat he’s held since 2002.

We’re disappointed Mr. Knowles didn’t return his candidate questionnaire for the general election, but that’s probably in line with the extremely low-key campaign he’s been running.

We’ve never been a big fan of Mr. Bivins, but last year he introduced one of the most asinine pieces of legislation we’ve ever seen: a bill that would have required fire protection district board members within six months of their election to attend and complete educational training on the role and duties of board members.

Perhaps next session Mr. Bivins will introduce a similar bill requiring state representatives to attend and complete educational training on the role and duties of state representatives.

The Call makes no endorsement.

2nd Congressional District

Democrat George D. Weber and Libertarian Tamara Millay are attempting to unseat Republican incumbent Todd Akin. None of the candidates is particularly impressive, and the Call makes no endorsement.

3rd Congressional District

Democratic incumbent Russ Carnahan is being challenged in his re-election bid by Republican David Bertelsen, Libertarian R. Christophel and David Sladky of the Progressive Party. Rep. Carnahan by far is the most viable candidate and the Call enthusiastically endorses his re-election bid.