Sam Page Defeats Mark Mantovani in St. Louis County Executive Race

The county council race has been bizarre at every turn

St. Louis County Executive Sam Page, shown in a file photo. - LEXIE MILLER
LEXIE MILLER
St. Louis County Executive Sam Page, shown in a file photo.

Republican challenger Mark Mantovani has conceded the St. Louis County executive race to incumbent Sam Page. With preliminary results in and 209 of 239 precincts reporting, the St. Louis County election board is reporting Page has a four point lead.

The county executive race has been bizarre from the start. In the August Republican primaries, Katherine Pinner, a largely unknown candidate from unincorporated St. Louis County, beat Missouri State Representative Shamed Dogan in a surprising upset. An anti-vaccine and anti-mask candidate who didn’t engage with the press, Pinner ultimately withdrew from the race in September.

Despite running twice before as a Democrat for the county executive seat, Mantovani became the new Republican candidate after the St. Louis County Republican Central Committee held a closed-door vote. This left Mantovani with only two months to campaign while also having to explain a change in party.

Mantovani promised ethical leadership and less contentious governance, two weak points in Page’s administration. “My objective is to try to bring this county together,” Mantovani told KPLR 11 when he announced his candidacy.

Page, an anesthesiologist, was looking for his first full term in office. He won in 2020 to replace former County Executive Steve Stenger who was indicted in a pay-to-play scheme. But Page has had his share of controversies, including several discrimination lawsuits brought by the police department. In April, voters decided the county executive should not have an additional job, forcing Page to give up his role as an anesthesiologist. In June, a top aide quit after apparently filming himself having sex in one of the county buildings.

Mantovani’s platform of “not Sam Page” resonated with some voters. At his watch party, many said they were there because they did not like Page. Many were critical of his COVID regulations and think he has squandered money, particularly from Proposition P, a sales tax that was meant to be used to support public safety.

The mood was ebullient at Page's watch party, but the future is far from certain for the county executive. Other seats on the county council were also up for grabs including in districts 3, 5 and 7. (Democrat Rita Heard Days was running unopposed for the seat in District 1.)

In District 3, Republican Tim Fitch's former seat, Republican Dennis Hancock is ahead of Democrat Vicki Lorenz Englund with 51 percent of the vote to her 46 percent.

In District 5, incumbent Democrat Lisa D. Clancy is poised to beat Republican Steven Bailey and Libertarian Michael Lewis, while Republican Mark Harder is ahead in district 7 with 58 percent of the vote against Democrat Kristine Callis' 41 percent.

Benjamin Simon contributed to this reporting.

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About The Author

Rosalind Early

Rosalind is the editor-in-chief of the Riverfront Times. She formerly worked for Washington University's alumni magazine and St. Louis Magazine. In 2018, she was selected as a Rising Leader of Color by the Theatre Communications Group. In 2014, she was selected as an Emerging Leader by FOCUS St. Louis. Her work...
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