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Purzner still Overland mayor, gains one vote in recount

Ann Purzner
Ann Purzner

By Kevin Lavery & Tom Weber, KWMU

Maplewood, MO – A recount Tuesday morning in St. Louis County found Ann Purzner won last month's mayoral race in Overland by five votes. She gained one vote in the recount, and remains the winner in the close race.

Election officials conducted the recount at the St. Louis County Election Board office in Maplewood. The results need to be certified.

The original count had Ann Purzner beating Mary Beth Conlon by just four votes. Conlon has until noon on Thursday to ask the election board to conduct a hand recount, which she says she will do. Machines did the counting.

Purzner's attorney, Eric Tolen, says the recount shows the system works: "We trust the system will, in fact, show that Mrs. Purzner is, in fact, the lawfully elected mayor and that we can bring the city of Overland to the place that we really wanted to bring it as a community, and get all these problems behind us."

Purzner since taking office has tried to remove the city's police chief and city attorney, which has sparked lawsuits and protests.

Monday, a third straight city council meeting was canceled because not enough city council members show up to meetings to make a quorum. At least 100 residents were there, and were turned away.

When Mayor Ann Purzner appointed a new police chief earlier this month, current chief Jim Herron argued Purzner had no such authority. That dispute will be settled in court, perhaps this week.

The four council members who didn't show up Monday have spoken out against Purzner. One councilman who was there, Purzner supporter Kenneth Owensby, accused the no-shows of "playing dirty politics."

A third candidate in the race, Gerry Kientzel, picked up two votes in the recount.

Overland Mayor - new results
CandidateVote TotalPercentage Change
Gerry Kientzel 966 30.3% + 2
Ann Purzner 1,116 35.0% + 1
Mary Beth Conlon 1,111 34.8% same