Effort to Back Mantovani for Stenger’s Post Includes Construction Leaders

By on April 21, 2019

by Tom Finan
Executive Director, Construction  Forum STL

A grassroots efforts to help clear the way for Mark Mantovani for the post of St. Louis County Supervisor, should Steve Stenger step down from the position, surfaced last week. Rich Ledbetter, former president of Castle Contracting,  along with former state Sen. Joan Bray, is heading a group of “about a dozen” individuals, Ledbetter said.

The original intention, Ledbetter said, was for the group to operate sub rosa while the Steve Stenger situation plays out, raising enough funds for social media and a web presence for Mantovani should Stenger leave office. Information about the group was leaked to the St. Louis Business Journal. 

Mantovani conceded defeat in the August 2018 Democratic primary for St. Louis County executive after the St. Louis County Election Board certified the election results and declared incumbent Steve Stenger the winner by 1,100 votes – less than 1 percent of the Democratic votes cast.

“Joan Bray and I got together,” Ledbetter said. “We asked people who are believers in Mark. Grassroots effort. Message to the council. Put the man in the position who ran for it and is committed to it and who 90,000 St. Louisans voted for.”  Ledbetter said that other leaders in the construction industry are among the group which was solicited for support.

Mantovani reportedly told the Business Journal that he’s,”not going to prejudge this…The biggest concern to me is that the business of the community is just not moving at the rate that it should. My golly, our community continues to get passed up by other communities in the Midwest, and we’re spending all our time dealing with issues around improprieties. That’s a shame. We’ve got to get the region moving. I’m hopeful that this ends soon.”

Ledbetter stated that Mantovani’s vision for St. Louis County includes its place in a greater region of 2.8 million people, 13 counties and two states.

“Mark ran a county-wide, not district wide, campaign and won 90,000 votes — 49.7%, ” Ledbetter said.

“Stenger’s improper fundraising was used against Mark’s campaign. Both Mark and St. Louis County as a whole were impacted by those improprieties.

“Mantovani has been a leader in the both the discussion of regional consolidation and opposition to a statewide vote. There is a groundswell of support for Mantovani that is organic and County-wide. While he has not been marinating in County government, Mark is a very strong, experience executive and leader.

“It is strong, energetic leadership that is required.”


About Tom Finan