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Stenger, Dooley Continue Neck-And-Neck Fundraising For Summer Contest


(Updated 1 p.m. Wed., April 16)

St. Louis County Councilman Steve Stenger and County Executive Charlie Dooley are continuing a close money-raising battle as the two prepare for their campaign showdown over Dooley’s job in the August primary.

Stenger, D-Affton, slightly outraised Dooley during the last three months, with Stenger collecting $262,814 to Dooley’s $243,540. Stenger also has a larger edge in bank accounts: $794,480 to Dooley’s $607,396.

But the disparity on both counts would have been much larger if it weren't for one particular donor to Dooley  -- Jeanne Sinquefield, wife of wealthy financier Rex Sinquefield.  She gave Dooley $100,000 on March 27, days before the end of the reporting period.

Stenger’s largest donations during the quarter were $10,000 apiece from labor groups, including the Sheet Metal Workers, as well as from fellow council member Mike O’Mara, D-Florissant.  Another councilman, Pat Dolan, D-Richmond Heights, contributed $9,800.

Steve Stenger
Credit Courtesy of the candidate
Steve Stenger

Stenger and Dooley each claimed to hold the financial edge. Stenger noted that he’s outraised Dooley during the last three reporting periods. Dooley said the numbers were misleading because Stenger has lent $200,000 to his campaign. (Half of the money was lent during an earlier campaign but shows up as a continued campaign debt.)

Meanwhile, Stenger got a boost late Tuesday when the St. Louis Labor Council -- made up of many of the region's unions -- voted to endorse him, not Dooley. The council has backed Dooley in earlier contests, but is at odds with him over some appointments and other issues.

Sparring continues over taxes, debates

Dooley told reporters Tuesday that he expects his campaign to kick into high gear with TV ads about six weeks before the primary election. Stenger declined to disclose any campaign plans.

Both did, however, renew two points of attack. Stenger reaffirmed his call for televised debates, saying that Dooley and his campaign have yet to reply.

St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley.
Credit (St. Louis County website)
Charlie Dooley

Meanwhile, Dooley released a copy of his 2013 tax returns, also due Tuesday, and called on Stenger to do the same.

Dooley’s return showed that he and his wife had reported total income of $186,114 in 2013, consisting of his salary and her pension and Social Security benefits.  After deductions, their federal taxes totaled $29,300.

A month ago, Dooley released copies of nine years of his federal and state tax returns – from 2003 to 2012 – to St. Louis Public Radio.  Soon after, Stenger delivered copies of  his federal tax returns from 2007 through 2012.

Stenger said Tuesday that he had filed for an extension in submitting his 2013 return and that he planned to submit that return this fall.  Stenger, an accountant who runs his own law firm, said he frequently has filed extensions in submitting his returns because of his workload early in the year, which includes handling other people’s taxes.

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.