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Stream Seeks Recount In Loss To Stenger For County Executive

Rick Stream
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio
Rick Stream

Republican Rick Stream waited until the deadline to go to court Thursday and request a recount in the close contest he lost Nov. 4 for St. Louis County executive.

Rick Stream
Credit Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio
Rick Stream

Stream lost by fewer than 1,800 votes to Democrat Steve Stenger, who is to be sworn in on Jan. 1.

State law allows Stream to seek a recount because he lost by less than 1 percent of the countywide vote. Stream said in a statement that he decided to go through with the challenge because of what he called “multiple voting irregularities,’’ including a shortage of ballots and “voter complaints” at some polling places.

Stream’s campaign must pay all the costs of the recount. A spokeswoman for the St. Louis County Election Board declined to estimate how much the recount will cost or how long it will take.

But Democratic Elections Director Rita Days said there may be no cost to Stream if the board's staff can do the recount during normal business hours. She said she understands that Stream has requested that it be completed before Stenger is sworn in.

Stream said in his statement that he wanted to “ensure each vote was counted” and to help the Election Board improve its operations.

Stenger's campaign replied in its own brief statement, "We believe county voters had their say in November and the result is as clear now, as it was on election night."

On election night, Stenger's victory margin was fewer than 1,700 votes.  But by the time the vote had been certified, Stenger's margin had increased to just under 1,800 votes.

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Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.