Cunningham, McNary among candidates running for Monarch FPD Board
By: Jim Erickson
Off-year elections generally are known for a lack of excitement and low voter turnout. But the upcoming race for a seat on the Monarch Fire Protection District Board of Directors appears likely to be an exception after a flurry of activity on the last day candidates could file to be on the April 2 ballot.
Former state Sen. Jane Cunningham and former state Rep. Cole McNary, both Chesterfield Republicans, filed to seek the six-year term in the non-partisan election. In between the Cunningham and McNary filings, Rick Gans, a former Monarch director, withdrew his candidacy and said he would support Cunningham.
Gans, along with incumbent director Kim Evans and Russell Lake, a Chesterfield businessman, had announced their intentions to run on the first day for filing last month. (Editor’s note: Both Evans and Lake withdrew their candidacies on Jan. 22 after West Newsmagazine went to press.)
Cunningham served 12 years in the Missouri House and Senate before redistricting forced her from office last year.
Elected to the Missouri House in 2008 to represent a West County district that primarily included Chesterfield, McNary was defeated by incumbent Clint Zweifel in the race for state treasurer last November.
Evans is completing her first term on the three-member Board and now serves as its president. A former field emergency medical technician and 911 dispatcher, she has worked in the health care field for some 27 years and is a pediatric and transplant nurse case manager.
Lake’s candidacy is his first for elective office. He earlier served on a Monarch citizens’ advisory committee working with staff on the district’s 2013 budget.
In a news release announcing her candidacy, Cunningham cited a strong desire to continue serving the constituents she represented during her legislative career and pledged to bring her emphasis on being a property tax watchdog to the Monarch Board.
The Monarch district covers more than 62.7 square miles and includes all or part of Chesterfield, Clarkson Valley, Ballwin, Creve Coeur, Maryland Heights and Wildwood, and portions of unincorporated St. Louis County.