July 30, 2014 - Nearly four years ago, this newspaper did not endorse County Executive Charlie Dooley's re-election bid.
Instead, the Call endorsed Dooley's Republican opponent, Bill Corrigan.
Though Corrigan came close, he failed in his bid to unseat Dooley in November 2010. Four years is a long time in politics, and Dooley is being challenged in next week's Democratic primary for county executive by perennial candidate Ron Levy and 6th District County Councilman Steve Stenger, both of Affton.
It's certainly no secret that the past four years haven't been kind to Dooley. Despite his contention during a recent candidate forum that things in St. Louis County are "simply outstanding," that's hardly the case.
Under Dooley's leadership, we've seen repeated scandals, cronyism, nepotism, political favors and investigations. And for the first time that we can recall, we've seen a schism develop among the county's elected Democrats, with all but one County Council Democrat allied with Stenger.
Stenger, a certified public accountant and attorney who grew up in south county, has served on the County Council for six years. For the most part, we believe he has done a good job, though some residents who have spoken to us criticize him for what they contend is a lack of responsiveness and a failure to take a firm stance on divisive issues — for example, a city-county merger.
On the other hand, Stenger hasn't been afraid to go head-to-head with Dooley on issues affecting south county, and more often than not, has prevailed. Stenger has stood up for south county, and we believe voters should stand up for Stenger in next Tuesday's primary.
The Call endorses Stenger for the Democratic nod for county executive.
The Republican primary for county executive features two well-qualified candidates — Green Park Ward 1 Alderman Tony Pousosa and Rep. Rick Stream of Kirkwood.
Stream clearly is the candidate preferred by the mainstream Republican Party, while Pousosa is viewed as a rising star by younger Republicans.
We believe both candidates are men of principle. Either one would admirably serve St. Louis County citizens.
But after observing Pousosa firsthand during his tenure on the Green Park Board of Aldermen since 2007, the Call endorses Pousosa.