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Corrigan set to announce bid for St. Louis County executive

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, June 1, 2009 - St. Louis lawyer William M. Corrigan, a Republican and former president of the Missouri Bar, plans to announce Tuesday that he's running for St. Louis County executive in 2010.

“After several months of discussing the future of St. Louis County with friends, family and many others throughout the area, the consensus is that we must do better and I know that I can make a difference,” said Corrigan in a statement issued late this morning. “At this point in our history, political party affiliation doesn’t matter. Elected officials must work together to build a better St. Louis County.”  

Corrigan, 50, would be the first official challenge to County Executive Charlie Dooley, a Democrat who has been in office since 2003, when he was appointed following the death of longtime incumbent George "Buzz'' Westfall.

Dooley won a full term in 2006, and has been expected to seek re-election next year.

Corrigan's campaign confirmed this morning that he's planning to formally launch his candidacy Tuesday at a news conference at the Kirkwood Community Center.

Corrigan isa partner at Armstrong Teasdale, and a graduate of Chaminade College Preparatory High School. According to various information Web sites, he attended Notre Dame for college, and then went to the University of Missouri Law School. 

Corrigan is the son of retired county Judge William M. Corrigan, who was appointed to the bench by a Democratic governor, Warren Hearnes.

The younger Corrigan has never run for public office before.  He does sit on several corporate board of directors. Said Corrigan in his statement:  “It’s time that we realize the amazing potential of St. Louis County and its people.  I know we can attract the type of commerce and create prosperity we need to provide good jobs and a stable future for generations to come.”  

Dooley's latest campaign report, filed April 15, reported that he had $168,296 in the bank -- an amount not large enough to scare potential rivals. (Dooley had raised close to $600,000, but had spent close to $400,000.)

In May, however, Dooley reported collecting at least $40,000 in donations of $5,000 or more apiece. That's in addition to whatever he received under $5,000, which does not need to be reported until July 15.

The upshot: Dooley appears to be actively trying to bolster his campaign funds, especially since Corrigan or any other rival won't face any campaign donation limits (which were tossed out by the Legislature in 2008.)

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.