Documents show that more than $50,000 was spent in the race to fill a vacant seat on the Monarch Fire Protection District Board of Directors.
The race for a relatively unknown office drew two Republican heavyweights in former State Sen. Jane Cunningham and former State Rep. Cole McNary, both of whom are from Chesterfield. They seek to fill a six-year term on a three-person board in the April 2 election.
Cunningham's campaign committee spent $23,600 primarily in advertising, printing and yard signs, according to a campaign finance report filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission on March 25. The most notable expense was nearly $9,000 paid to Turec Advertising Associates, an advertising agency in Olivette.
McNary's committee spent $28,175 in printing, mailing, campaign ads and voter information, according to a similar report filed with St. Louis County on March 25. McNary, who ran for Missouri State Treasurer last November, spent most of that money on services from Mulligan Printing, a marketing company in St. Louis.
For McNary, his committee's expenses far outpaced total fundraising. The committee raised $4,507 as of March 25, according to the report. Notable supporters include:
- Steven Swyers, current board secretary and employee of PriceWaterhouseCoopers ($1,000)
- Professional Firefighters of West St. Louis County ($682.96)
- Home Building Industry PAC ($500)
- Schuhmacher Fire Equipment LLC ($250)
- Maryland Heights Fire Fighters ($150)
- Paul Swyers of Maryland Heights Fire District ($100)
Cunningham's committee raised $8,220 through that same period, though the committee has collected more than $150,000 from previous periods. Notable supporters include:
- One McKnight Place Management Company ($1,000)
- Ray Vinson of Vinson Mortgage Group ($500)
- Friends of Tom Schweich ($500)
- Citizens to Elect Susan Allen ($200)
Some find the race particularly puzzling because the fire district, which covers parts of Ballwin, Chesterfield, Creve Coeur, Maryland Heights and Wildwood, only pays about $200 per meeting and doesn't offer much support for the politically ambitious.
Are you paying attention to the Monarch fire board race? As we draw closer to the April 2 election, which candidate stands out for you?