Broadnax to be knocked off ballot as County Council candidate, Days says
Rita Days, the Democratic director for the St. Louis County Board of Election Commissioners, says that she will knock Leslie Broadnax off the ballot as a County Council candidate as soon as filing ends in March.
Broadnax doesn't reside in the newly drawn 4th District, where she is seeking to challenge Council Chairman Mike O'Mara, a fellow Democrat.
Broadnax, a lawyer who serves as the chairwoman of the St. Louis County Board of Equalization, she plans to continue with her candidacy, and is exploring various options.
Broadnax of Bellefontaine Neighbors filed earlier this week against O’Mara, a Florissant native who has represented the 4th District for more than 10 years and is running for re-election.
In an interview, Broadnax said a redistricted county council map handed down by a federal judge placed her residence just outside of the 4th District. The new map, which generally made minimal changes to council districts, places her home in the 1st District, which is not up for election until 2014.
The St. Louis County Charter states that a council member shall “be a qualified voter and resident in his district for at least one year preceding his nomination, and shall continue to reside therein during his incumbency except as otherwise provided in this charter.”
Days said she has talked with her legal team and believes that Broadnax would not be eligible to run in the 4th District.
“At this particular point with this map that we have, she would be disqualified from running in that particular district,” said Days, adding that any appeals would have to be taken to court. “Based on the information that we have right now and the map that we have right now, this is our option. This is actually our only option.”
Mac Scott, a spokesman for St. Louis County, said the issue is being reviewed.
Broadnax told the Beacon that Days’ statement doesn’t surprise her, adding that she will continue to run against O’Mara until she’s told otherwise.
“I don’t believe that I am out of this race yet,” said Broadnax, adding that the issue is being researched by her legal team. “And again, I’ll just reiterate what I said: Until somebody tells me absolutely not, then I’m going to continue forward.”
“The saying is 'it’s not over until the fat lady sings,' ” she added. “Well I don’t even know if she’s reached for the mic yet.”
Broadnax said she got into the race against O'Mara to assist the community where she was raised, as well to create economic opportunity for youth within the district. She added that the race wasn’t aimed at pointing out O’Mara’s shortcomings.
“I’m not here to drag him through the mud,” Broadnax said. “I just believe that people should have a choice. I personally believe I’m an excellent choice for the community.”
O’Mara told the Beacon on Tuesday that he's had primary opponents before and he was prepared to make the case for his re-election.
"I think I have a good communication with my district," O'Mara said. "We've done a lot of positive things and we still have more positive things to do in the community."
In addition to Broadnax and O’Mara, Councilman Steve Stenger, D-Affton, and Councilwoman Kathleen Burkett, D-Overland, filed this week for re-election. Nobody thus far has filed to run against either incumbent.