Saint Louis, Mo. — In his first television ad since the shooting of Mike Brown by Officer Darren Wilson, St. Louis County Executive candidate Steve Stenger addressed the Ferguson incident and its impact on St. Louis County.
“As a member of this community I’ve been deeply troubled by the way we’ve been torn apart. We can and we will do better. One day at a time, one person at a time, we need to build trust in each other. We cannot allow our community to remain divided. That will be my mission as county executive,” the Democratic county councilmember says in the ad, which began airing on local and cable television this week.
Stenger’s ad is a somber one, with the candidate facing the camera and none of the usual campaign ad frills. There is no music, and only a minimalist “paid for by” banner can be seen, almost translucent, at the end of the ad, which features no “Stenger for” tagline.
Stenger — though considered a frontrunner for the post against former Republican state representative Rick Stream — has a fine line to walk in a post-Ferguson race. Stenger beat Charlie Dooley, the county’s first black county executive, easily in the primary only days before Brown’s death. St. Louis County Prosecutor, Bob McCulloch, played a major role in Stenger’s race and repeatedly endorsed him, while rarely missing an opportunity to criticize Dooley.
A group of vocal activists from the Ferguson region have demanded for weeks that McCulloch step down from the Brown case in favor of a special prosecutor. Stenger and his family have now been assigned police protection after county investigators say they received threats on various social media.
Collin Reischman was the Managing Editor for The Missouri Times, and a graduate of Webster University with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.