Independent candidate makes filing deadline for 4th District state Senate seat
This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 29, 2009 - Today's the last day of filing for the 4th District state Senate seat in the city of St. Louis that had been held by Democrat Jeff Smith, who resigned last month after pleading guilty to federal felony charges.
And independent candidate Mike Hathaway made today's deadline with a few hours to spare.
Hathaway, 37, is an Internet engineer for Charter Communications. He was in Jefferson City today to file and turn in 1,150 signatures from registered voters in the district. Hathaway needs at least 820 valid signatures to be on the Nov. 3 special election ballot as an independent candidate.
Hathaway says he's running because he want to make that the Democratic nominee -- 28th Ward committeeman Joe Keaveny -- had some competition in the admittedly Democratic-leaning district.
Keaveny already has one opponent: Constitution Party candidate Howard Hampton, 44, who's in the insurance industry and is a member of the National Rifle Association.
By the 5 p.m. deadline, no Republican or Libertarian had filed for the post, which takes in roughly the western half of the city. A spokeswoman for Secretary of State Robin Carnahan said all three candidates must be certified -- and, in Hathaway's case, signatures counted -- before it's official who's on the ballot Nov. 3.
Hathaway has set up a Web site and says his chief issue will be "not giving up on the St. Louis public schools."
He also wants to work with Metro, the region's transit agency. Hathaway also supports the idea of legalizing marijuana for medicinal use.
"We're locking up too many people for petty, nonviolent crimes,'' Hathaway said, which is costly and takes up law-inforcement time and prison space that he believes should be directed at people who commit violent crimes.
The Constitution Party announced last week that it had chosen Hampton, 44.
In a statement, Hampton said he "believes that the best form of government is a return to adherence to the Founding Documents (the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights)....We’ve gotten away from the basic tenants of what the Constitution stands for.”
The result, said Hamption is "runaway government and deficit spending."
“No one’s happy with the current situation,” Hampton said. “I sense the people are ready to elect candidates, who are not professional politicians--people who aren’t beholden to special interest and promoting big government. People who actually believe the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence define the role of government.”
Hampton advocates "sound fiscal policy that limits government spending to constitutional boundaries,'' which he says could help the state recover from the nationawide recession. "Our state needs 'real' jobs that will help reclaim our lost manufacturing base. We need people in Jefferson City, who believe that lowering taxes and lessening restrictions will attract new businesses to our state.”
--- 73rd District
Two candidates ended up filing for the now-vacant state representative seat that had been held by Steve Brown of Clayton, who pleaded guilty to a federal charge in the case involving Smith.
The two are: Democrat Stacey Newman and Republican Daniel O'Sullivan.