“I decided to get into politics when I found the issues I most cared about were not being addressed on behalf of St. Louis County,” said Republican candidate for St. Louis County Executive, Paul Berry III. Berry will run against incumbent Steve Stenger in the general election this November. “I knew that I was going to run for St. Louis County Executive 24 hours after Rick Stream lost the race in November of 2014,” said Berry.
The relationships that Berry has established with County Council members and Missouri government as a whole are very important to him and something that he believes will help him as County Executive. “I would say that I have better relationships with our presumed 2019 St. Louis County Council and with Missouri elected officials than my incumbent opponent for St. Louis County Executive,” said Berry. “I would also add my ability to address hot-button issues affecting St. Louis County is superior to my St. Louis County Executive opponent.”
Berry has expressed on his campaign site that he wants to develop and establish St. Louis County’s relationship with the Federal Government and the State of Missouri Government. Berry also plans to oppose the merger of the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County. When asked why he wanted to represent St. Louis County residents, Berry said, “St. Louis County has immense potential, but we are being stifled by our political and cultural differences.”
Among other plans of action, Berry wants to address the crime that affects St. Louis County residents who use Metrolink services, address the City of St. Louis failing operations of Lambert Airport, address the opioid crisis affecting the county residents and address stabilizing the homeless population within St. Louis County. “As a lifetime citizen of St. Louis County who is well-versed in the public policy issues affecting all St. Louis County residents, I can provide the necessary leadership to develop St. Louis County into a government that works for all of our residents,” said Berry.
Looking towards the 2018 General election, Berry says that his biggest asset is bringing his ability to “articulate a realistic vision for the St. Louis County that is both fiscally responsible and effective.” He also noted that his experience with being a former Democrat helps him to understand “where the ‘low hanging fruit’ exists where bi-partisan support for public policy can be achieved.”
When it comes to raising money for his campaign, Berry said “there is no secret that there was a concerted effort to withhold donor support for my campaign, in favor of Mark Mantovani’s self-funded effort to beat St. Louis County Executive Stenger. With the 2018 Primary now over, we have found a willingness from St. Louis County campaign donors to take on Steve Stenger this November, and we are making our pitch for a better St. Louis County government by supporting my St. Louis County Executive campaign.”
“Steve Stenger enjoys 100 percent name identification and he was only able to muster 1100 more votes than Mark Mantovani during the 2018 Primary. The 2018 General election cycle for my campaign is a two-front war. I anticipate my GOP support will increase my own name identification with 2018 St. Louis County GOP voters. There is not a single Missouri Republican that I don’t share some sort of relationship with, and I intend to call upon each and every Republican in Missouri to engage St. Louis County voters in support of my campaign,” Berry said.
Berry said that the St. Louis County General election will be a battleground in North St. Louis County. “Campaign statistics suggest the 2018 General election will be determined by St. Louis County African American voters. If St. Louis County African American voters believe that Steve Stenger has been effective in North St. Louis County, then Mr. Stenger will be reelected as St. Louis County Executive for four more years. If St. Louis County African American voters are dissatisfied with Steve Stenger as St. Louis County Executive, then I think Steve Stenger does not have a solid path to reelection.” Berry said that Stenger does not have elected friends within the Republican Party that will help him against Berry’s campaign, “and very few elected friends in his own Democrat Party who are willing to get involved in a shooting war on behalf of him with my campaign.”
“The only thing Steve Stenger has going in his favor is campaign dollars. My campaign has spent six months building a grassroots infrastructure, we believe we can defeat Stenger without spending the same amount of campaign dollars. As we all just saw during our 2018 St. Louis County Primary elections, each St. Louis County incumbent opposed by another campaign lost their reelection bid. Paul Berry III for St. Louis County intends to catch the same waver in November,” Berry said when asked how he plans to win the race.