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Longtime recorder Carpenter defeated; Lincoln County judge and prosecutor lose; May unseats Hummel

Longtime recorder Carpenter defeated; Lincoln County judge and prosecutor lose; May unseats Hummel

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Election Day

Joe Wagner of University City fills out his ballot on election day at Wydown Middle School in Clayton. Wagner was voting in Clayton because his normal polling place in University City was under construction. photo by Hillary Levin, hlevin@post-dispatch.com

Updated at 11:36 p.m.

After more than 30 years in office, Sharon Carpenter will serve as St. Louis' recorder of deeds no longer.

State Rep. Michael Butler, D-St. Louis, defeated Carpenter in Tuesday's Democratic primary. With no Republican in the running for a general election matchup, Butler is likely to hold the position for the next four years.

Carpenter has held onto her post despite a number of controversies during her tenure. She faced a significant fundraising disadvantage going into Tuesday, but her defeat was far from certain.

There was a similar financial disparity when she handily won re-election in 2014, even with a nepotism scandal that forced her resignation months earlier.

Butler, 32, will be the first millennial to hold citywide office in St. Louis. He won with 51 percent of the vote, to Carpenter's 42 percent. Former Alderman Jimmie Matthews trailed with 7 percent.

Meanwhile, Mavis Thompson won a second full term as the city's license collector, getting 56 percent of the vote against Dana Kelly-Franks, a businesswoman and the wife of state Rep. Bruce Franks, D-St. Louis.

With 76 percent approving, St. Louis voters also passed Proposition 1, a bond issue to buy equipment for police and firefighters and make infrastructure upgrades throughout the city. That was far more than the two-thirds majority required.

In some other races across the metro area:

• State Rep. Karla May of St. Louis unseated state Sen. Jake Hummel, also of St. Louis. May now faces Republican Robert Crump in November.

In another contested state Senate race, former Congressional aide Brian Williams of University City defeated two opponents for the Democratic nomination to succeed term-limited state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal.

Meanwhile, Chappelle-Nadal, also of University City, beat three opponents for a state House seat nomination.

• A bond issue and property tax increase sought by the St. Charles County Ambulance District passed.

So did property tax increases sought by the Pattonville, Kinloch and High Ridge fire protection districts and a sales tax hike in Pine Lawn. But propositions failed in the Wright City, Warrenton and Hawk Point fire districts.

• State Rep. Kurt Bahr of O’Fallon won the six-way race for the Republican nomination to succeed retiring St. Charles County Elections Director Rich Chrismer.

Bahr will face Democrat John Callahan, also of O'Fallon, in the general election. He ran unopposed Tuesday.

• Voters in Hanley Hills decided against dissolving their north St. Louis County municipality of about 2,100 residents. About 60 percent of voters rejected the move.

The issue was put on the ballot by a petition drive. Advocates said they were fed up with what they said was dysfunction and deterioration in the village.

But carrying the day were opponents who warned that disincorporation could lead to higher taxes and less local control.

• Chris Kunza Mennemeyer and Leah Wommack Chaney, the circuit judge and prosecutor in the original Russell Faria murder case in Lincoln County, were both overwhelmingly defeated for re-election.

Mennemeyer finished last in a three-way race for the GOP nomination for judge, getting only 21 percent of the vote.

The winner, former Associate Circuit Judge Patrick Flynn, got more than 54 percent and Lee Elliott more than 24 percent. The totals also included votes from Pike County, which is in the same judicial circuit.

Flynn, a former Democrat, will run in the November general election against Adam Burkemper, who ran unopposed Tuesday in the Democratic primary.

Chaney, formerly known as Leah Askey, lost her bid for a third term as prosecutor in the GOP primary to Mike Wood, a former assistant prosecutor in Lincoln and St. Charles counties.

Wood, who has no Democratic opponent in November, got almost three-fourths of the vote against Chaney.

Faria, convicted by a jury in Mennemeyer's court of murdering his wife, later won a new trial because the judge had refused to allow evidence against an alternate suspect, Pamela Hupp.

Faria was later acquitted by a different judge and Hupp is awaiting trial in a different murder that occurred later in St. Charles County.

Mennemeyer also was suspended last year for six months by the Missouri Supreme Court for what the court said were "serious violations" of the state Code of Judicial Conduct and the Missouri Constitution.

The penalty had been recommended by a state commission.

• Businessman Dennis Gannon easily defeated Gary Stout, a sheriff’s deputy, for the GOP nomination for Jefferson County executive. Gannon will be pitted in November against Democrat Jeff Roorda, a former state representative who ran unopposed in his party’s primary.

The current county executive, Republican Ken Waller, didn’t seek another term. Instead, Waller ran Tuesday for the GOP nomination for county clerk; he defeated his opponent, Jeremy Day.

Waller will now face Democratic incumbent Randy Holman in November. Waller had appointed Holman to the job to fill a vacancy.

• Joe Rathert unseated Jefferson County Circuit Judge Carl Yates in the Republican primary.  No Democrat filed for the post.

Updated at 10:50 p.m.

After more than 30 years in office, Sharon Carpenter will serve as St. Louis' recorder of deeds no longer. 

Missouri state Rep. Michael Butler, D-St. Louis, defeated Carpenter in Tuesday's Democratic primary. With no Republican in the running for a general election matchup, Butler will hold the position for the next four years. 

He won with 51 percent of the vote, compared to Carpenter's 42 percent. Former Alderman Jimmie Matthews won 7 percent of the vote. 

The other incumbent on the citywide ballot on Tuesday, Mavis Thompson, won a second term as the city's license collector, with 56 percent of the vote. Her challenger, businesswoman Dana Kelly-Franks, received 44 percent of the vote. 

With 76 percent approving, St. Louis voters also passed Proposition 1, a bond issue to buy equipment for police and firefighters and make infrastructure upgrades throughout the city. 


Updated at 10:15 p.m.

With roughly 85 percent of precincts reporting, License Collector Mavis Thompson appears headed for a second term, with 56 percent of the vote. Her challenger, businesswoman Dana Kelly-Franks, has garnered about 44 percent.

In a close race, State Rep. Michael Butler, D-St. Louis, is on track to unseat longtime Recorder of Deeds Sharon Carpenter, with about 49 percent of the vote compared to Carpenter's 44 percent.


Updated at 10:10 p.m.

Chris Kunza Mennemeyer and Leah Wommack Chaney, the circuit judge and prosecutor in the original Russell Faria murder case in Lincoln County, were both overwhelmingly defeated Tuesday for re-election.

Final returns showed Mennemeyer finishing last in a three-way race for the GOP nomination for Lincoln County circuit judge, getting only 21 percent of the vote.

The winner, former Associate Circuit Judge Patrick Flynn, got more than 54 percent and Lee Elliott more than 24 percent. The totals included votes from both Lincoln County and neighboring Pike County, which is in the same judicial circuit.

Flynn, a former Democrat, will run in the November general election against Adam Burkemper, who ran unoppposed Tuesday in the Democratic primary.

Chaney, formerly known as Leah Askey, lost her bid for a third term as prosecutor in the GOP primary to Mike Wood, a former assistant prosecutor in Lincoln and St. Charles counties.

Wood, who has no Democratic opponent in November, got almost three-fourths of the vote against Chaney.

Also defeated for re-election Tuesday was Dan Colbert, the Lincoln County presiding commissioner, who lost in the GOP primary to Joseph Kaimann.

Faria, convicted by a jury in Mennemeyer's court of murdering his wife, later won a new trial because the judge had refused to allow evidence against an alternate suspect, Pamela Hupp. 

Faria was later acquitted by a different judge and Hupp is awaiting trial in a different murder that occurred later in St. Charles County.

Mennemeyer also was suspended last year for six months by the Missouri Supreme Court for what the court said were "serious violations" of the state Code of Judicial Conduct and the Missouri Constitution.

The penalty had been recommended by a state commission.

Updated at 9:49 p.m.

Voters in Hanley Hills decided against dissolving their north St. Louis County municipality of about 2,100 residents.

About 60 percent of voters rejected the move to disincorporate the municipality.

The issue was put on the ballot by a petition drive. Advocates said they were fed up with what they said was dysfunction and deterioration in the village.

Opponents warned that disincorporation could lead to higher taxes and less local control.

Among other ballot measures in the area:

• A $50 million St. Louis bond issue for capital improvements was passing in early returns from Tuesday's primary.

The bond issue, listed on the city ballot as Proposition 1, had the support of nearly three-fourths of voters with 53 percent of the precincts reporting.

A two-thirds majority was required to pass the measure, which would pay for new equipment for firefighters and police, install permanent air conditioning at the city workhouse and repair and renovate various other city buildings.

City officials said the bond issue would not trigger a tax increase.

• In other city races, License Collector Mavis Thompson was ahead of her Democratic primary challenger, Dana Kelly-Franks, in partial returns.

• Longtime Recorder of Deeds Sharon Carpenter was in a tight contest with state Rep. Michael Butler. With 53 percent of the precincts reporting, Butler had an edge of 49 percent to 43 percent.


Updated at 9 p.m.

Partial results have begun to trickle in for citywide races, and Proposition 1 appears likely to pass. 

With 19 percent of precincts reporting, 74 percent voters have said yes to the bond issue, which will be used to make infrastructure improvements to city facilities and buy new equipment for police officers and firefighters. 

The recorder of deeds race in the Democratic primary is tightening. Incumbent Sharon Carpenter has captured 48 percent of the vote, but her challenger, state Rep. Michael Butler, is close behind at 45 percent. 

License Collector Mavis Thompson has a solid lead over challenger Dana Kelly Franks thus far, at 58 percent and 42 percent, respectively.

• LIVE: St. Louis-area election results


Updated at 8:45 p.m.

State Rep. Karla May was ahead in early returns in her Democratic primary challenge Tuesday of state Sen. Jake Hummel.

With absentee votes counted across both the St. Louis and St. Louis County parts of the Senate district, May had a 59 percent-to-41 percent lead.

May and Hummel are both from the city.

Meanwhile, in a hotly-contested state Senate race in St. Louis County, former state Rep. Sharon Pace was leading a three-way race for the Democratic nomination.

Absentee ballot returns showed Pace with 37 percent; Congressional aide Brian Williams, with 32 percent; and state Rep. Joe Adams with 31 percent.


Updated at 8:40 p.m.

A bond issue and property tax hike sought by the St. Charles County Ambulance District was passing in early returns from Tuesday's primary.

With about 10 percent of the precincts reporting, the ambulance district proposal was favored by about 66 percent of voters and opposed by 34 percent.  A four-sevenths majority — more than 57 percent — is needed for passage.

Meanwhile, Mark Koester was leading in the six-way race for the Republican nomination to succeed longtime County Elections Director Rich Chrismer.

Koester, a longtime sheriff's deputy, had more than 31 percent of the vote, with state Rep. Kurt Bahr  in second place with nearly 27 percent.


Updated at 7:30 p.m.

With only absentee ballots counted, Democratic incumbents in citywide races have taken early leads.

License Collector Mavis Thompson leads her challenger, businesswoman Dana Kelly Franks, with 62 percent of the vote. Recorder of Deeds Sharon Carpenter has 50 percent of the vote so far, compared to state Rep. Michael Butler’s 38 percent.

Roughly 77 percent of voters casting absentee ballots supported Prop 1, a bond issue to be spent on St. Louis’ infrastructure needs and new equipment for police and firefighters.


Original story, posted at 7 p.m.

Polls have closed in Tuesday's Missouri primary election, where voters in many communities faced a wide range of choices in local races and ballot issues.

In St. Louis, the spotlight was on two citywide Democratic primary races — for city recorder of deeds and license collector and a $50 million bond issue for capital improvements.

In the recorder's race, state Rep. Michael Butler tried to unseat incumbent Sharon Carpenter, a fixture in city politics for decades who has held the office for more than 30 years. Also in the race was former Alderman Jimmie Matthews.

Meanwhile, License Collector Mavis Thompson faced Dana Kelly-Franks, a businesswoman and the wife of state Rep. Bruce Franks.

The bond issue, which would not trigger a property tax increase, would generate money to buy new equipment for firefighters and police, install permanent air conditioning at the city workhouse and repair and renovate various other city buildings.

• LIVE: St. Louis-area election results

Among other ballot highlights across the metro area:

• Voters in Hanley Hills were deciding whether to dissolve their north St. Louis County municipality of about 2,100 residents.

The issue was put on the ballot by a petition drive. Advocates said they were fed up with what they said was dysfunction and deterioration in the village. 

Opponents warned that disincorporation could lead to higher taxes and less local control.

• State Rep. Joe Adams, former state Rep. Sharon Pace and Congressional aide Brian Williams were vying for the Democratic nomination for a state Senate seat representing parts of mid- and north St. Louis County.

The seat is now held by Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, who is term-limited.

Meanwhile, Chappelle-Nadal was running for a Missouri House seat and had competition from three other Democrats — Gloria Nickerson, Farrakhan Shegog and Bobby Shields.

•  State Sen. Jake Hummel's re-election bid was challenged in the Democratic primary by state Rep. Karla May.

•  Various tax hikes and bond issues were decided across the area, including proposed property tax increases in the Pattonville and High Ridge fire protection districts.

The Pattonville measure, seeking an increase of 20 cents per $100 assessed valuation, would generate money to hire up to six new firefighters, renovate a firehouse and shore up the district pension plan.

The High Ridge proposal, a 25-cent rate increase, would allow the district to replace aging fire trucks and other equipment, buy additional gear and increase the hours of staffing at firehouse #4.

In St. Charles County, a key issue was the $70 million bond issue sought by the County Ambulance District that could result in a tax increase of 5 cents per $100 assessed valuation over 10 years.

The additional money would allow the fast-growing district to build 10 to 12 new ambulance stations, buy 37 new ambulances and replace the chassis on 27 ambulances. The measure required a four-sevenths majority.

• Five candidates ran for the Republican nomination to succeed Rich Chrismer, the longtime St. Charles County elections director who is retiring at the end of the year. 

The winner will face Democrat John Callahan, who was unopposed for his party's nomination.

• Jefferson County had several contested primary races for countywide offices, including a match for the GOP nomination for county executive between businessman Dennis Gannon and Gary Stout, a sheriff's deputy.

The winner faces former state Rep. Jeff Roorda, the Democratic nominee who ran unopposed Tuesday, in the November general election. 

The current county executive, Republican Ken Waller, didn't seek another term and instead ran Tuesday for the GOP nomination for county clerk against Jeremy Day. The winner faces Democratic incumbent Randy Holman in November.

• In Lincoln County, Leah Wommack Chaney — who has faced controversy during her eight years as county prosecutor — was challenged by Mike Wood in the GOP primary. 

Chaney, formerly known as Leah Wommack Askey, ran in previous elections as a Democrat. No one ran for the Democratic nomination Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Chris Kunza Mennemeyer, the circuit judge serving Lincoln and Pike counties, had two GOP primary opponents Tuesday in Lee Elliott and Patrick Flynn, a former Democratic associate circuit judge.

The winner will face Democrat Adam Burkemper in November.

Mennemeyer last year served a six-month unpaid suspension for what the Missouri Supreme Court called serious violations of a judicial conduct code and the state Constitution.

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