UPDATED: 8th Ward Alder Special Election February 13th

8thwardFiling has begun for the February 13th Special Election to fill the 8th Ward Alderman Vacancy created when Alderman Stephen Conway was appointed Assessor by Mayor Lyda Krewson. Here is the Board of Election Notice. 

Political party central committees must meet and select their 8th Ward nominees for this election by January 12th. In a special election, nomination by party committees replaces the primary election. I will post St. Louis Democratic City Central Meeting Notice when I get the info.

Persons who wish to run as Independent Candidates for 8th Ward Alderman need to turn in their petitions by January 12th. You need signatures from 325 voters who voted in the April 4, 2017, mayoral election. Advise you to get lots more signatures. Some people will fib and tell you they voted last April when they didn’t.

Absentee Voting for 8th Ward Alderman begins January 16th. Voter Registration Deadline for 8th Ward Aldermen election is January 17th.

Here is some information on filing requirements. 

The 8th Ward includes parts of the Shaw, Southwest Garden, and Tower Grove East Neighborhoods.

UPDATE: Adding information on proxies. Under Missouri Democratic Party By-Laws, proxies may not be used for nominating to fill legislative district vacancies and countywide vacancies. State Party By-Laws, nor our City Central Committee By-Laws say anything about alderman nominations. Proxies may, therefore, be used for special election alderman nomination. A committeeperson may carry up to two proxies. The proxy form is posted here.

Disclosure: As a committeewoman voting on nominee for 8th Ward Alderman, I have pledged my vote to 8th Ward Committeewoman Annie Rice.

— Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman


October Campaign Finance Reports

Game on, Rasheen!

5th Ward Alderwoman Tammika Hubbard‘s Missouri Ethics Commission page says her next election is a special election. I liked the way those Rodney Hubbard vs. Rasheen Aldridge and Penny Hubbard vs. Bruce Franks Jr special elections went. I think a Tammika vs. Rasheen election would go just as well.

Hubbard’s Deputy Treasurer, a paid for campaign treasurer, is Kathryn Jayne Drennen of Midwest Compliance Group. Drennen is also Deputy Treasurer for 7th Ward Alderman Jack Coatar and, he just won’t go away, Russ Carnahan. Carnahan, unfortunately, is looking at running statewide in 2020. His state campaign committee recently gave $1,000 to his federal committee ARCH PAC (Arch Leadership PAC),

Return of the Ortmanns?

Coatar has $73,159 on hand. The second biggest war chest among aldermen campaign accounts belongs to, surprisingly,  Ken Ortmann, former 9th Ward Alderman, with $47,200.39. Ortmann’s MEC account says he is running again in 2021.

Pat Ortmann, former 9th Ward Democratic Committeewoman, Ken’s wife and partner at The Cat’s Meow bar in Soulard, also has an MEC account. She plans on running for a seat on Central Committee in 2020 and has $502.97 on hand. 9th Ward Committeewoman Sara Johnson has filed Limited Activity reports all year.

Coming in third among the well-monied aldermen accounts is 17th Ward Alderman Joe Roddy with $40,835.27. Roddy recently paid $1,300 to consultant Jim McHugh and continues to pay a social media contractor to block Twitters users.

10th Ward Alderman Joe Vollmer is sitting on $11,950.98.

22nd Ward Alderman Jeffrey Boyd loaned his committee $400 and has $14.97 on hand.

As of 11 pm Monday, 3rd Ward Alderman Brandon Bosley, 9th Ward Alderman Dan Guenther, 11th Ward Alderwoman Sarah Martin, 18th Ward Alderman Terry Kennedy, 19th Ward Alderwoman Marlene Davis,  20th Ward Alderwoman Cara Spencer, 24th Ward Alderman Scott Ogilvie, 27th Ward Alderwoman Pam Boyd, and Aldermanic President Lewis Reed, all had missed the 5 pm Monday campaign finance report deadline.

Collector of Revenue For Life Gregg F.X. Daly has $601,572.88 available for his re-election bid next year. License Collector Mavis Thompson has $7,021.12 on hand and fundraiser scheduled for the end of this month. Dana Kelly Franks, wife of State Rep. Bruce Franks, launched her campaign for Thompson’s job last weekend.

Something must be seriously wrong with the MEC database because it is showing the last report filed by 6th Ward Alderwoman Christine Ingrassia was in July 2016.


Is a Bosley the next 79th District State Representative? Is Butler the next Recorder of Deeds?

3rd Ward Alderman Brandon Bosley has no October Report up yet as of 11 pm Monday. Ironically, his amended July Report shows he paid $408 in “Fees” to MEC. That’s usually means late fees.

Bosley’s July Report also shows he received a total of $500 in contributions from two of his campaign office landlord’s businesses. Rent is usually not very interesting. But Bosley’s landlord, Michele Duffe, former LRA Director, is also State Rep. Michael Butler‘s campaign office landlord. Butler has amended his account to run for Recorder of Deeds next year. Rumor has it that Butler and the Bosley Family have swapped endorsements and Lakeysha Frazier-Bosley, the Alderman’s sister, getting the nod from Butler as heir to his 79th District seat.

Consultants have conned Civic Progress into believing November 7th’s Prop P has a chance at passage. The Kings of Status Quo donated $125,000 to the Kelley Group‘s Citizens for a Safer St. Louis, a campaign committee for the Sales Tax Increase Election.


Kelley Group’s STL Citizens for Safety is carrying a $82,397.52 debt from the April St. Louis County Prop P Sales Tax Increase Election. Keeping an eye on that one to see if the City Prop P money from Rex Sinquefield, who donated to the County Prop P campaign, goes to that account.

Kelley Group’s Show Me Victories gave $10,000 to their Regional Progress PAC after deadline for October report. This is also a committee to monitor for activity on Prop P.

Kelley Group established Regional Progress PAC with $10,000 from Show Me Victories in November 2016. Usually what this political action committee does is deliver money from other sources. Since its beginning, the political action committee has received…
$67,500 from Anheuser-Busch
$10,000 from Schnuck Markets
$6,000 from Centrex Strategies (a.k.a. Lou Hamilton)
$2,500 from HMS Host (airport food)
$1,000 from QuikTrip Corp.

Most of the money went back out as donations to candidates, including…
$25,044 to Mayor Lyda Krewson
$10,000 to St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger
$6,000 to 28th Ward Alderwoman Heather Navarro
$5,044 to 7th Ward Alderman Jack Coatar
$5,000 to 19th Ward Alderwoman Marlene Davis
$4,000 to Board President Lewis Reed
$4,000 to 3rd Ward Alderman Brandon Bosley
$2,600 to State Auditor Nicolle Galloway
$2,500 to Board President Lewis Reed
$2,500 to 9th Ward Alderman Dan Guenther
$2,500 to 13th Ward Alderwoman Saran Martin
$2,000 to Comptroller Darlene Green
$2,000 to 27th Ward Alderwoman Pam Boyd
$2,000 to 17th Ward Alderman Joe Roddy
$1,000 to 5th Ward Alderwoman Tammika Hubbard
$1,000 to 11th Ward Alderwoman Beth Murphy
$1,000 to 16th Ward Alderman Tom Oldenburg
$1,000 to 21st Ward Alderman John Collins-Muhammad
$500 to 25th Ward Alderman Shane Cohn
$500 to State Rep. Peter Meredith

Donations to losing candidates included…
$5,000 to Ken Ortmann’s 9th Ward re-election campaign
$1,044 to Jennifer Florida’s 15th Ward campaign
$44 to Lindsay Patton’s 19th Ward campaign

Disclaimer/Disclosure: I am an employee of the City of St. Louis at the Recorder of Deeds Office. I am 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman. I ran for Committeewoman twenty years after I had been working at the Recorder’s as an archivist. I did not get my job because I am a Committeewoman. As a Committeewoman, I have had text conversations and met with State Representative Mike Butler who is running for Recorder but have made no endorsement. I have had no conversation with current Recorder Sharon Quigley Carpenter about whether she is running for for re-election. I have had a phone conversation with License Collector Mavis Thompson and text conversations with Dana Kelly Franks, her challenger, but have made no endorsement in that race. People are making a lot of bad assumptions these days. I am a straightforward person. Don’t assume, ask me.

—Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman

Leonard Johnson Should Quit His Job To Run For Alderman

city-hall3If Leonard Johnson wants to become 7th Ward Alderman, the first thing he should do is quit his job with the City Treasurer. Current 7th Ward Alderman Jack Coatar resigned from the City Circuit Attorney’s Office before he announced running for alderman. And he made a very big deal about it during the campaign.

Johnson is Deputy Chief of Staff, management, a salaried position. He’s not on a clock. Staying on while running for alderman is unnecessary, bad publicity waiting to happen.

This issue is sure to attract more than a little attention because the City Treasurer, Tishaura Jones, is running for mayor. Her election is my political priority, and fast becoming my personal priority. We do not need distractions such as Leonard Johnson.

So why would Leonard Johnson do this? Is he that selfish? Doesn’t he get it? Is he actually trying to help another candidate for mayor? I don’t know the answer but I am leaning more and more toward the last.

Why doesn’t the City Treasurer fire Johnson or force him to take a leave of absence? I would think it has to do with the City Treasurer being a patronage office, not Civil Service. Patronage employees have First Amendment rights that Civil Service employees do not have. It’s not the first time a patronage office employee has run for alderman. In the case of the Treasurer’s office, however, it appears that employees have a right to run for public office without any restrictions.

Leonard Johnson told me that his boss initially resisted the idea of his running but was now OK with it. In reality, the City Treasurer cannot legally stop him from running or force him to quit or take a leave of absence. I am not even sure if there is such a thing as a three month leave of absence for other than medical/family leave.

There is huge difference between being OK with the decision of an employee and not being able to do anything about it. In my book, Johnson was not honest with me.

And this is a personnel issue with legal consequences, so I certainly understand why the Treasurer is not in a position to say much on the matter.

Leonard Johnson first approached me over two years ago about his interest in becoming alderman. Rumors were circulating that Alderwoman Phyllis Young wanted to retire, would resign, and there would be a special election. And then I didn’t hear back from him until recently. My guess was he was only interested in being alderman if there was no primary.

Leonard Johnson had two years to lay a foundation to run in 2017 against Jack Coatar and he didn’t do it. He had two years to become active in every neighborhood association, meet thousands of voters, understand the wants and needs of his would be constituents.

When he called me about running in 2017, he asked me for information on the Kosciusko neighborhood association. He wanted to be alderman and didn’t know Kosciusko is the industrial tract in the ward. Again, he had two years to learn 7th Ward 101. He made no effort.

But Leonard Johnson doesn’t really want to be alderman. That’s part of the problem here. His boss is running for mayor. He figures there are coattails. He figures at least one organization that will go door to door for him. He figures the 7th Ward Committeewoman and Committeeman can be bullied into endorsing him. He doesn’t really like city politics but he wants to be a state senator. That’s what is going on. He thinks becoming alderman puts him in play to replace term limited Jamilah Nasheed. I really wonder where this ridiculous idea came from. It’s quite a leap from alderman to state senator, almost as big as from state senator to mayor.

Johnson was scheduled to work the 7th Ward’s Sigel School polling place on General Election Day. He was supposed to hand out the 7th Ward Independent Democrat‘s sample ballot and Draft Tishaura flyers. 7th Ward Independent Democrats was making its endorsement of Jones for mayor early morning on election day. We wanted to be the first ward endorsement.

Johnson was given instructions to hand out ballots as people went into polling place and Draft Tishaura flyers as they came out. After the election, I found out Johnson had been handing out the ward sample ballot and his own campaign literature, not the Draft Tishaura flyers. He was basically using us to campaign for himself. Yes. Why on earth would I think he is either very selfish or helping another mayoral candidate, or both?

The 7th Ward needs a good candidate against Jack Coater. Unfortunately, that is not Leonard Johnson. Fortunately, filing just opened Monday and I am optimistic that a real choice will be on the ballot.

–Marie Ceselski, 7th Ward Democratic Committeewoman