Charlie Dooley, Former St. Louis County Executive, Endorses Dr. Sam Page
I’m writing this from a unique perspective, not only am I a former St Louis County Executive but I’m also a former St Louis County Executive who entered the office to fill the unexpired term of his predecessor. So, I’m aware of the challenges of assuming an office without a plan because you never planned to assume the office.
I will admit that Sam Page and I assumed the office under completely different circumstances, and I don’t mean the difference between Steve Strenger’s resignation and Buzz Westfall’s untimely death. No, I’m talking about the difference between normal times and these times. These times are totally defined by a public health and economic crisis as the result of a worldwide pandemic, and a national movement for long overdue criminal justice reform.
Everyone runs for office claiming they know how to do it, but the truth is whether it’s the County Executive or President of the United States, nobody knows how to do it until they’ve done it. Same Page has done it. He has been the County Executive for over a year. This is not the time for on the job training by candidates claiming they can do a better job. They can’t. But it is true that the prior experience you bring to the office can be of great help. It’s Sam Page’s experience that makes him the best choice to lead the St. Louis County for the next two years.
Everything, and my I mean everything, that happens in St. Louis County, the State of Missouri and the country for the next two years will be a function of how we handle the crisis created by COVID-19. While I pray that I’m wrong, given the lack of leadership at the state and national level, I sadly believe things will get worse before they get better.
Sam Page is a medical doctor. The decisions the County Executive will make in the next term will not be about economic development, tax rates, or the issues that a County Executive normally deals with. Every decision the County Executive will make for the foreseeable future will be a public health decision. Sam Page as a medical doctor has an advantage that can only be replicated by another doctor.
I was County Executive on August 8, 2014 when Michael Brown was murdered in Ferguson. From that day to this one, the demand for criminal justice reform has remained at the forefront of the country’s agenda. Sam Page has committed to aligning county government to support County Prosecutor Wesley Bell’s progressive criminal justice reform agenda.
I said a candidate’s prior experience can be a help in succeeding as County Executive, and Sam Page’s medical credentials and experience are a real bonus right now, but that’s not the experience that’s most important. While I had never been County Executive, I had been Mayor of Northwoods for 11 years and had been a member of the St. Louis County Council for 9 years. I was new to the job, but I wasn’t new to government and politics in St. Louis County. It was this experience in municipal government and county government that made it possible to transition to County Executive.
Sam Page has been a member of the Missouri Legislature, the Creve Coeur City Council and the St Louis County Council. He knows how government works at the municipal, county and state level, this will be critical experience for anyone who wants to be the county executive over the next two years.
In every election voters have a choice, but often they have to choose between candidates that are less than ideal. The question for August 4th is who, in these troubled and uncertain times, has the experience and skill to lead St. Louis for the next two years?
Because I’ve been there, I can say without reservation Sam Page is the right man for times such as these.
St. Louis County Executive 2003-2015