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Fresh off party switch, Mark Mantovani promises split from Page on crime prevention and regional growth

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Mark Mantovani became the GOP nominee for St. Louis County executive earlier this summer.
Jason Rosenbaum
St. Louis Public Radio
Mark Mantovani became the GOP nominee for St. Louis County executive earlier this summer.

Follow Mark Mantovani on Twitter: @MarkForSTL

Republican St. Louis County executive nominee Mark Mantovani is the latest guest on Politically Speaking, where he talked about his return to the electoral fray after two unsuccessful attempts to become the county executive as a Democrat.

The St. Louis County Republican Central Committee tapped Mantovani to replace Katherine Pinner, who withdrew from the contest after her campaign strategy and beliefs about COVID-19 came under intense scrutiny. He’ll face off against incumbent Democratic St. Louis County Executive Sam Page on Nov. 8.

Page recorded an episode of Politically Speaking earlier this summer. You can listen to it here.

Here’s what Mantovani talked about on the show:

  • Mantovani explained why he decided to switch political parties — and whether his prior statements about his views on key issues make him out of step with Republican voters.
  • He also detailed why crime prevention would be a major priority if he’s elected in November. The county executive does not have direct control over the St. Louis County Police Department, but the officeholder is responsible for appointing members of the Board of Police Commissioners.
  • Mantovani also talked about how he would have handled the COVID-19 pandemic differently from Page. After he won his election in 2020, Page’s administration imposed mask mandates that were not enforced – as well as a vaccine mandate for county employees.
  • With less than 50 days to mount a campaign, Mantovani discussed how he would thread a difficult needle to win a county executive contest as a Republican.

Mantovani is a retired business executive who came within 2,000 votes of defeating County Executive Steve Stenger in 2018. The campaign was contentious, with Stenger questioning Mantovani's Democratic credentials. Mantovani focused some of his campaign on whether Stenger’s actions as county executive corresponded with political donations, a message that was validated when Stenger resigned while facing corruption charges.

He ran again for county executive in 2020,finishing second behind Page in a race that also featured St. Louis County Assessor Jake Zimmerman and Jamie Tolliver.

Follow Rachel Lippmann on Twitter: @rlippmann

Follow Jason Rosenbaum on Twitter: @jrosenbaum    

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.
Jason is the politics correspondent for St. Louis Public Radio.

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