- Associated Press - Thursday, November 6, 2014

CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) - St. Louis County Executive-elect Steve Stenger said he believes voters in Ferguson and Spanish Lake helped him to a narrow victory in the general election.

Stenger defeated Republican state lawmaker Rick Stream by nearly 1,800 votes Tuesday to win the top job in Missouri’s most populated county.

Stenger’s slim margin of victory barely avoided an automatic recount, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (https://bit.ly/1zycXnS ) reported.

The fatal shooting of Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer had dominated the campaign, with many Democratic black political leaders supporting Stream after Stenger refused to join calls for county prosecutor Robert McCulloch to recuse himself because of concerns about his family ties to law enforcement.

In about two weeks, the St. Louis County Board of Elections will release a precinct-by-precinct breakdown of voting patterns.

“It’s difficult and a little silly at this point to speculate on how the Ferguson situation affected the election,” said Terry Jones, a political science professor of the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

“But it’s clear that St. Louis County is now sufficiently Democratic that even in a Republican year and following a difficult primary the Democratic candidate could still muster enough votes to win.”

Stenger will be sworn in in January. He said he will let incumbent Charlie Dooley, whom he beat in the August primary, lead the county’s response to any protests stemming from a grand jury’s ruling on whether officer Darren Wilson will face criminal charges in Brown’s death.

“I’m the county executive starting in January,” Stenger said. “And out of respect for Charlie, I will offer my services to Charlie in any way he feels I can be useful.”


Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, https://www.stltoday.com

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