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Local Election Update: Fenton to Elect New Mayor, Schools Will Add Board Members

Few challengers sign up for April elections.

With the election filing deadline still a couple of weeks away, only one candidate who has placed his name on the ballot for the Fenton mayor's seat.  Paul Seemayer was at Fenton City Hall early on the opening day of filing in December, in order to sign up to run for mayor of Fenton. No one else has stepped up yet as a second contender.

The filing period ends Jan. 15.

Regardless of whether there are any other mayoral contenders, there will be a new Fenton mayor for the next two years as long-time incumbent Mayor Dennis Hancock has already announced he won't seek re-election to a seventh term in the city's top position.

Hancock took himself out of the running last spring, deciding to call it quits after 12 years in the city's top job. He served as mayor longer than all other Fenton mayors, except the city's first mayor - Glenn Hitzert - who was mayor for 14 years in the 1950s.

Hancock presided over many ups and downs in Fenton over the past decade, including the closure of the twin Chrysler plants that were the source of much of the city's tax revenue. But there also was significant business growth, including the construction of the massive Gravois Bluffs shopping development, at Gravois Road and Highway 141, and SSM St. Clare Health Center, 1015 Bowles Ave., as well as a steady stream of small businesses that have located in the city.

Hancock points out that Fenton has "one of the highest business occupancy rates in the region."

There are other candidates who have filed for aldermanic positions in Fenton, where there will be five seats at stake in the April 2 municipal elections.

Seats will be open in each of the city's four wards. The terms of Paul Seemayer (Ward 1), Joe Maurath (Ward 2), Chris Clauss (Ward 3) and Jim Mauller (Ward 4) are set to expire. In addition, a one-year aldermanic position will be on the ballot in Ward 1 to fill the unexpired term of Alderman Jerry Sorge, who moved from Fenton.

Clauss and Mauler have filed for re-election to their aldermanic positions. Carol Brennan, has signed up for a run for Ward 1 alderman.

With Seemayer's aldermanic term expiring, he had a choice to make since he cannot run for both alderman and mayor. In choosing to vie for the mayoral job, he remarked "It's this or nothing."

In other April 2 elections, local school board positions will be at stake in the Lindbergh, Rockwood and Northwest school districts. Two seats are up for grabs in each district. So far, it's mostly incumbents who have placed their names on the ballot in April.

In Northwest, incumbents Nancy Bergfeld and Gary Bonacker have filed for re-election.

Three candidates have filed for the Lindbergh Board of Education, including incumbents Vic Lenz and Kara Gotsch, and challenger Adam McBride.

Incumbents Steve Banton and Janet Strate have filed for re-election to the Rockwood Board of Education.

Filing for local elections opened Dec. 11, 2012 and end Jan. 15. 

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