Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Schwendemann in Race for Executive

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Schwendemann in Race for Executive

Article excerpt

St. Charles County Executive Gene Schwendemann announced Thursday that he would seek election this year to retain his post.

He is the only Democratic candidate to announce so far. But two Republicans have already jumped into the race for that party's nomination. State Rep. Joe Ortwerth, R-St. Peters, and Tom Brown, mayor of St. Peters, have said they will run.

The primary will be in August and the general election in November.

Schwendemann, 51, became county executive automatically when the County Charter took effect in 1993. At the time, he held the office of presiding commissioner, a post he had been elected to in 1990.

He said in a prepared statement on Thursday that he owed that election to the "turmoil that was present in county government when I last ran. . . . My efforts over the past three years have been to keep partisan politics and political bickering at a minimum in county government."

Schwendemann said the county has made "tremendous progress" with him at the helm.

Among his accomplishments, he cited construction of two new county government buildings in St. Charles. The courts administration building opened last year, the administration building will open later this year. Both have been under budget and on schedule, he said. They were financed by a sales tax of one-fourth of 1 percent that voters approved after he took office.

"This administration has worked hard to see that the county did not repeat the errors made with construction of the county jail," which opened in 1988 and cost more than planned, he said.

Schwendemann also cited his administration's track record in responding to the record-breaking floods of 1993. "Our efforts to clean up the aftermath are on schedule. Our ability to secure both federal and state buyout funds are also on schedule. We are working to develop a comprehensive flood plain management system to ensure that the same amount of destruction does not happen again. …

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