Cunningham, McNary Spend More than $50K in Monarch Fire Board Race

The two high-profile Republican candidates are seeking a relatively obscure position on the Monarch Fire Protection District Board of Directors.

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:

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:

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? 

Scott Simon March 28, 2013 at 01:11 PM
Monarch fire board spots aren't relatively unknown. They've been publicly active for years. In fact, most fire district boards in West County are pretty active.
RB March 28, 2013 at 01:42 PM
Cole McNary's campaign is also being supported by "Citizens for good government" which has received $50,500.00 from the "Professional firefighters of Tri-county PAC" to run negative campaign ads against Jane Cunningham. A similar group supported Swyers by running negative ads against his opponent. Union control of the board is not in the best interest of the tax paying citizens. I've attended many fire board meetings since the 1990's and most of the angst has been caused by the desire of the union to take control of the board. ARBY
Jodi Redler March 28, 2013 at 01:58 PM
I don't get why either of them want this job. There has to be something not being reported.
Ryan Martin (Editor) March 28, 2013 at 04:11 PM
Compared to state representative, state senate and state treasurer posts? We might just have to agree to disagree, Scott.
bjschapiro March 28, 2013 at 04:50 PM
Agree with Jodi. These two are not political novices. There's something at stake here that we're not being told about.
John O,Truth March 28, 2013 at 05:35 PM
Really, RB is one of the Cunningham puppets that probably runs the website that fills the public and their 10 person membership with a lot of false and fabricated information. I happen to know about what's going on due to the fact I have a relative that is in the fire service in the area. It is NOT about union control. All these anti Monarch puppets keep screaming UNION UNION UNION. I get it, they are taxpayers of a white collar community full of wealthy and middle class citizens, why wouldn't they support unions? Jane and her history and views will destroy this fire district. She supports hostile work environments and believes the firemen should work for less then avg. pay and benefits for the area. Do your research people, they are not the highest paid nor are they close. As a matter of fact my sources say they have gone 6 or so years without a dime of a pay raise. Sounds like thug union activity to me. They don't even bill their residents for EMS service and to my knowledge have one of the lowest property tax rates in all of St. Louis County. You cant compare a fire district to a city municipality when it come to pay and funds, its just not in the same field. She bases her campaign on things that are already and have been in place for quite sometime.
John O,Truth March 28, 2013 at 05:36 PM
She is using this position as a political move for something in the future. She is wanting revenge for her buddy Rick Gans. Please don't read and believe everything you see and don't ever believe what the concerned citizens or taxpayer group has to say cause its all a bunch of bull. So what if the firefighters support another candidate, does that mean they will control him? No, it means they don't want Jane coming in and destroying the service that is in pace and currently works. Think about it. do research, talk to a fireman, they are not all greedy union thugs like they are made out to be.
brad March 28, 2013 at 07:25 PM
John O- Are you typing this while at work at the firehouse (while being paid by me and the other taxpayers), or on your own time?
brad March 28, 2013 at 07:31 PM
Everything you say is inflamatory speculation and has no basis in fact. "bunch of bull" "revenge" "destroy". Sounds like the despartate attack words of a union guy that about to lose the majority on the board. Please tell me how JC will "destroy" the service? Are you saying union firefighters will refuse to do their jobs, or leave their lucrative contracts in masses leaving positions unfilled? Would love your explanation to your statement. I love fireman, think most are great guys, I also love fiscal sanity.
John O,Truth March 28, 2013 at 07:32 PM
Sorry not a firefighter
Russ Lake March 29, 2013 at 11:33 PM
You've got it wrong ARBY..no angst caused by any desire of the union to take control of the board! It was two board members prior to 2011 (1 member is gone and 1 is still on the board). The firefighters just want to have a voice like any employee does in any other organization. They are men & women that are providing for their families like the rest of us. They just want to be the best that they can be. The board in the past has been the political machine (prior to Mr. Swyers coming on-board). Now we don't have a political agenda, it's just about getting the job done. Moral is higher than ever before. I sat on the citizen budget advisory committee, I went to the (ENTIRE) Monarch Fire Operations Course one Saturday and heard, saw & experienced nothing but true professionals at work. We should be proud of who we have protecting us in this district!! Russ Lake


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