Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

In St. Charles County

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

In St. Charles County

Article excerpt

As the new charter government takes hold in St. Charles County, voters will cast ballots for a county executive for the first time. In Tuesday's primary, both parties have races for the nomination for that position as well as others in county government.

Three Republicans are seeking to be the nominee for county executive: James W. "Jim" Hodges of St. Charles, the county auditor; Joe Ortwerth of St. Peters, a state representative; and Thomas Wayne "Tom" Brown, the mayor of St. Peters. Each man has qualifications that speak well of his candidacy.

Mr. Hodges has been a voice of calm reason in a county government that often has been characterized by strife. His reputation for integrity and his familiarity with the county's finances would serve him well if he became its chief executive.

Mr. Ortwerth's service in the state Legislature has familiarized him with various levels of government, and although his voting record has not always been the most progressive, he has worked hard to make his constituents heard in Jefferson City.

Of the three, though, Mr. Brown's background and platform make him the best choice. As mayor, he has led St. Peters well through a period of growth. His emphasis on formulating a mission statement for St. Charles County shows the proper perspective on what the county executive should be: someone who represents the county's interest in regional government and has a vision for how to manage progress and the inevitable problems that come with it. Though he has expressed unfortunate views in the past that made poor people seem unwelcome in his city, Mr. Brown's overall outlook is one that should serve the county well. GOP voters should nominate Thomas Wayne "Tom" Brown.

In the Democratic primary, Bob Fisher, councilman from the 1st District, is challenging incumbent county executive Eugene C. Schwendemann, who was elected presiding commissioner four years ago. That experience has given him a good grounding in what the job requires, and his record has been steady and straightforward, if unexciting. Mr. Fisher's service on the council and his platform show little reason voters should reject the incumbent. …

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