Amid relatively low turnout, thousands of North County voters cast a ballot in local elections yesterday, choosing a handful of incumbents but mostly fresh faces.
In Ferguson, councilman James Knowles III was elected mayor with 49% of the vote, defeating local realtor Pearce Neikirk and former Ferguson mayor Steve Wegert. At 31 years old, Knowles will become one of the youngest mayors in St. Louis County, if not the entire state.
Also in Ferguson, voters approved Prop S by an overwhelming 74% margin, giving the city the go-ahead to spend up to $8 million on the construction of a new firehouse.
Over in Florissant, a six-way race for mayor resulted in longtime councilman Tom Schneider winning with 37% of the vote. Candidates Susan Geerling and Mark Behlmann came in second and third place, respectively, earning around 23% each. Schneider will be Florissant’s third mayor in nearly 50 years, succeeding current mayor and former police chief Bob Lowery. Schneider was endorsed by Lowery.
In Bridgeton, longtime mayor Conrad Bowers retained his seat, with 48% of the vote, as did Black Jack mayor Norman McCourt, with 61%. In Dellwood, Loretta Johnson captured 59% in the mayor’s race, beating Donald Haynes for the position long held by Jack Agnew, who is retiring after more than 40 years in public service.
In the Ferguson-Florissant school board elections, it was not a good year for incumbents. James Clark lost his seat after more than 30 years in a crowded race. Doris Graham is also out after 23 years, as is Les Lentz after six years. The newly elected board members are Chris Martinez, Paul Morris and Rob Chabot.
In the Hazelwood School District, incumbent board members Ann Gibbons and Charles “Chuck” Woods bested Nina Curry by six points. They will join newcomer Brenda Youngblood for the upcoming term.
When it came to bond issues, Jennings successfully passed Prop J, allowing the school district to borrow up to $11 million for the purpose of renovating and improving school buildings. Also in Jennings, Mayor Ben Sutphin retained the post he has held since 1995, winning 43% of the vote in a close race with Yolanda Fountain Henderson.
The mayor’s race wasn’t nearly as tight in Bellefontaine Neighbors, where former alderman Robert Doerr defeated four candidates, including three sitting aldermen. He will succeed Marty Rudloff, who has served as mayor for the past 20 years.
Jim McLaughlin is out as mayor of Pasadena Hills, losing to Scott Livingston, who got 60% of the vote. In St. Ann, former state rep Michael Corcoran was selected as the new mayor, narrowly beating Shawn Short.
Finally, in Kinloch, Keith Conway will keep the mayoral job he has held since 1999. He ran unopposed and received 100% of the 14 votes cast.
To see a comprehensive list of local election results, visit the St. Louis County Election Board.
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