If Concord resident Cindy Redburn gets her way, Republican Tony Pousosa and Democrat Kevin O’Leary will not be the only candidates facing off in the April 7 special election for the 6th District County Council seat. The Constitution Party, Redburn and south county residents who say they want to vote for Constitution Party candidate Redburn filed a lawsuit Friday against St. Louis County over the county Charter’s exclusion of third parties from special elections like the one for the 6th District seat. The lawsuit alleges the Charter’s clause that only allows major parties in special elections is unconstitutional. The Charter clause allowing only Democrats and Republicans to run candidates in special elections has gone unchallenged since the county Charter was adopted in 1979, until now. “I was a little bit astounded when I first realized it and then decided that this couldn’t be unchallenged,” Redburn said of the specific exclusion of third parties from the rare special elections.
The candidate is suing the county with the help of attorney Dave Roland and the Freedom Center of Missouri, which takes on constitutional law cases pro bono. Pending the submission of affidavits from the south county voters, Roland is also looking to file a temporary restraining order and injunction in the race.
The 6th District seat is vacant after County Executive Steve Stenger, D-Affton, resigned from it to take office as county executive. Stenger, who is also an attorney, told the Call Tuesday night that the county received the lawsuit Tuesday and is reviewing it, but he has not had time to look into Redburn’s legal case to make a judgment yet about its merits.
Depending on how quickly a judge acts, Roland believes he has a decent chance of getting Redburn on the ballot for April’s election, citing what he views as clear-cut violations of the 1st and 14th amendments of the U.S. Constitution, as well as the state Constitution.