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Election Day

Photo by Christian Gooden,

UPDATED at 7 p.m. Monday with comment from the affected candidate

BLACK JACK   •  A four-way race for mayor of Black Jack in Tuesday's election is still down to three candidates, following the disqualification last week of City Councilwoman Carmen Watkins-Austell, according to the St. Louis County Election Board. 

Eric Fey, a board official, said Friday and repeated on Monday that the Missouri Department of Revenue had ruled that Watkins-Austell wasn't eligible because she owed personal property taxes.

Watkins-Austell on Monday asserted in an interview that she is still a valid candidate because the personal property taxes are part of her pending bankruptcy case in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Fey said, however, that votes for Watkins-Austell would not be counted unless the election board received a court order telling it to restore her status as a candidate.

Fey said because it's too late to remove Watkins-Austell's name from the ballot, any votes cast for her will not be counted.

Other candidates for mayor are the longtime incumbent, Norman McCourt; former Black Jack Councilman Leo Simmons and Kenneth McClendon, a former Berkeley councilman.

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Mark Schlinkmann is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.