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St. Louis County Prosecutor, Assessor Appear To Have Re-Elections Locked Up

St. Louis Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

St. Louis County residents might not know it, but two other countywide offices besides county executive are on the Nov. 4 ballot.

There’s been virtually no campaigning for St. Louis County prosecutor or for assessor.

Certainly county Prosecutor Bob McCulloch has been in the news a lot lately, but it’s not because he’s seeking a seventh term in the job he’s held since 1991.

McCulloch has no opponent in November – neither a Republican nor a third-party rival. So he’s guaranteed re-election. McCulloch handily defeated a primary opponent, Leslie Broadnax, in the Aug. 5 Democratic primary.

As a result, protesters seeking to oust McCulloch over the police shooting in Ferguson have little chance of succeeding.

Jake Zimmerman was sworn into office today as St. Louis County's Assessor.
Credit (Courtesy Zimmerman Campaign)
Jake Zimmerman

County Assessor Jake Zimmerman, a Democrat, faces Republican Andrew Ostrowski in November.

But Ostrowski has raised virtually no money so he hasn't campaigned much. As a result, Zimmerman has been spending his campaign time helping other Democrats.

Zimmerman, 40, is the county's first elected assessor in modern times. The General Assembly and Missouri voters voted in 2010 to end the post's longstanding status as an appointive job under the county executive.   The assessor's chief job is to oversee the appraisals and assessment of all property in the county, residential and commercial.

Zimmerman, a lawyer and former state legislator, first won the job in the April 2011 special election.  His victory would grant him his first full four-year term.

Republicans had hoped to obtain a strong GOP opponent, but that didn't happen.  The local GOP leadership endorsed Jalesia "Jasha" McQueen, who lost to Ostrowski in the Aug. 5 primary.  Ostrowski contends that's why he hasn’t gotten any party help, financial or otherwise. “I wasn’t supposed to win,’’ he said.

Ostrowski was interviewed as he left a town hall meeting this week hosted by GOP county executive nominee Rick Stream. Ostrowski didn’t introduce himself to the small crowd.

In any event, Ostrowski says he's primarily concerned about national issues. If he's elected, Ostrowski said he'd use the assessor's office to lobby Congress to restructure Social Security, put the U.S. dollar on the copper standard, and end capital gains taxes on investments in U.S. companies.

Jo Mannies is a freelance journalist and former political reporter at St. Louis Public Radio.