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Republican Pousosa to seek county executive's post

Says 'game-changer' needed in county government

Gloria Lloyd
Staff Reporter

Tony Pousosa (click for larger version)
November 06, 2013 - A familiar face in south county politics is challenging County Executive Charlie Dooley and 6th District County Councilman Steve Stenger, D-Affton, for the county's top job next year.

Surrounded by fellow Republicans, Green Park Ward 1 Alderman Tony Pousosa highlighted some of the county's emerging government scandals and investigations as he announced his candidacy last week at the Missouri Athletic Club in Town and Country. He said residents feel ignored by county government, highlighting the debate over zoning notifications for an Oakville senior housing complex and fees the county began enforcing this year on special events held at churches and schools.

If residents want something new, however, they will not find it from Stenger, Pousosa said, blaming both Democrats for what he said is wrong in county government. Stenger first took office on the County Council in 2008.

"Executive Dooley and Councilman Stenger are the same. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again," Pousosa said. "We don't need a name change, we need a game-changer."

Pousosa, who first took office in Green Park in 2007, ran for Stenger's council seat last year, with Stenger beating him in that race by roughly 7,000 votes.

In positions Pousosa said distinguished him from his Democratic opponents, he opposes a city-county merger, called for the state auditor to audit every department in county government and pledged that zoning notifications would run in a widely read newspaper.

"We want safer, stronger neighborhoods that promote residential and business growth. The best government is self-governance," he said. "I believe that residents of St. Louis County deserve better, and you do have a choice in this election by investing in my candidacy for county executive."

Pousosa, 44, has worked for 28 years at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, where he currently works on the surgical team at the Center for Advanced Medicine.

He is also a member of the Planning and Zoning Commission in Green Park, the St. Louis County Municipal League and is president of the Concord Lemay Republican Club and chair of the Barnes-Jewish Patient Advisory Council and the Center for Advanced Medicine Operating Room Unit Practice Committee.

Several prominent Republicans voiced their support of Pousosa at the event, including John Brunner, who unsuccessfully sought his party's nod for the U.S. Senate last year; Rep. Paul Curtman, R-Pacific; and Jim Lembke, former state senator from Lemay.

The speakers at Pousosa's announcement event said his real-world experience contrasts with his opponents and is something he shares with county residents.

"We don't need career politicians," Brunner said. "He's volunteered in politics, but he has a real job, real ideas and real experience that he can bring to the table."

Stenger announced his candidacy for county executive Oct. 15 surrounded by labor and political leaders, including county Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch, who had retracted his support of Dooley the week before.

Stenger, 41, an attorney and certified public accountant who is a partner in the Clayton law firm Klar, Izsak & Stenger LLC, was first elected to the council in 2008, defeating Republican John Campisi on a platform opposing the creation of trash districts in unincorporated St. Louis County.

Dooley, 65, is retired from Boeing, formerly McDonnell-Douglas. He was elected in 1994 as the 1st District's county councilman and served in that post until the County Council voted unanimously to appoint him county executive after the October 2003 death of County Executive George R. "Buzz'' Westfall.

Dooley was elected to serve the remaining two years of Westfall's term in November 2004 and was elected to full four-year terms in 2006 and 2010.

Tags: Green Park News, St. Louis County News

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