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Former Creve Coeur mayor, a Republican, endorses Democrat challenger Schupp over Wagner

Former Creve Coeur mayor, a Republican, endorses Democrat challenger Schupp over Wagner

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Jill Schupp and Ann Wagner

Democrat Jill Schupp, left and Republican Ann Wagner

CREVE COEUR — Harold Dielmann, former longtime mayor here and a self-described “lifelong Republican,” has endorsed Democratic challenger Jill Schupp in her bid to unseat U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner.

Schupp, a Democratic state senator from Creve Coeur, is challenging four-term Republican incumbent Wagner, of Ballwin, in Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District. The contest is one of a handful of competitive House races targeted by national Democrats, who have reserved air time in coming weeks to support Schupp and other challengers to GOP incumbents in suburban swing districts.

Schupp, who once served on the city council with Dielmann, touted his endorsement in a television advertisement on Tuesday. Dielmann was mayor of Creve Coeur for 28 years — from 1966 to 1985, then from 2003 to 2012, when reached a three-term limit. Schupp, a former president of the Ladue School Board, was elected to city council in 2007 before winning election to the Missouri Legislature in 2008.

Harold Diehlmann

Harold Dielmann, former mayor of Creve Coeur.

Dielmann, 90, described himself as a “lifelong Republican,” but said he supports Schupp because she worked across party lines in their time together on city council. 

“I’m a lifelong Republican and I’m going to support Jill,” Dielmann said. “She’s not a party candidate, she’s a people candidate.”

Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District includes parts of St. Louis, St. Charles and Jefferson counties and has favored Republicans in past years. This year, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report has called the race a tossup.

Schupp, whose state senate district takes in a swath of St. Louis County that includes some of the area’s most affluent communities, is one of few Missouri Democrats to win a high-profile race in the last several election cycles. In 2014, she narrowly defeated Republican Jay Ashcroft in the 24th Senate District, which had been held by a Republican. Ashcroft is now secretary of state. She announced her challenge to Wagner in December. 

Wagner, a former U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg and former chair of the Missouri Republican Party, narrowly held her seat in Congress in 2018, defeating a challenge from  from first-time candidate Cort Van Ostran by a 4-point margin, which remains the closest a Democrat has come to unseating Wagner since she was elected in 2012. 

This story has been updated with a photo of Harold Dielmann.

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Reporter covering breaking news and crime by night. Born in Algeria but grew up in St. Louis. Previously reported for The Associated Press in Jackson, Mississippi and at the Wichita Eagle in Wichita, Kansas.

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